Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wilted Greens Salad with Tuna

The problem with brunch -- and I must admit I feel slightly sacrilegious uttering those words, so allow me to rephrase -- one tiny, insignificant, easily airbrushed imperfection on the face of the deeply beloved meal of brunch (ah, much better) is that it's one meal instead of two.

I bemoan this fact not because of my intrinsically greedy, supersized-endless-refill-loving American ways, but because as someone who eats like a hummingbird (that's the polite term my husband has developed to mean "constantly"), having one big meal all at once can't quite take the place of smaller portions spread out over the day. Now if it's a late brunch, this is easily remedied by a surreptitious cup of coffee and handful of fruit while, for example, your house guests slumber away unknowingly upstairs. But if it's an earlyish brunch, you're left with this awkwardly-sized stretch between french toast and dinnertime that's too small for lunch but too big for nothing.

Enter the Goldilocks Brinner. Large enough to feel like a meal, and light enough not to interfere with dinnertime appetites: just right for any fellow foodie hummingbirds out there.

1 can albacore tuna, drained
Medium, good quality curry powder
Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt & black pepper
Small handful sliced almonds
Olive oil
Yellow and/or black mustard seeds
Several large handfuls of spicy greens (e.g., half baby arugula and half mustard frisee -- something with a bit of a kick), very coarsely chopped/sliced

Combine the tuna with a bit of olive oil in a small bowl, then stir in half a spoonful or so of curry powder, the parsley, a pinch of salt, and ground black pepper to taste. Mix well, then add the almonds and stir gently a couple times to combine.

Meanwhile, heat a bit of olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and stir once or twice. After about 20 seconds, add the greens and toss to combine with the mustard seeds. Saute for a minute or two until they just begin to wilt, then cover the pan, turn off the heat, and let steam for a minute more until just wilted.

Arrange a bed of the greens on plates (don't preheat the plates -- you want the greens to go ahead and cool to room temperature), sprinkle with just a little olive oil, and top with tuna.

Serves 2 for a very light, halfway-between-brunch-and-an-early-dinner sort of meal.

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