Friday, February 15, 2013

Tuna/Avocado/Egg Salad

Am pretty happy with how this turned out and thought I'd share, given that it's a Friday in Lent. Of course, it's also a day that we should be eating fewer carbs and cooking for ourselves on a budget, so this is a triple threat:

Disclaimer: this is a very large bowl and I made a double serving of the recipe below. 
Last week I saw a post on Reddit advising the use of a hard boiled egg in order to stretch a can of tuna for tuna salad. I like the idea a lot--not only does it add flavor that goes well with the tuna, but it's "stretching" the can by adding tons of vitamins and minerals (versus, say, adding breadcrumbs or other filling that just add mass).

Then last Sunday, somehow we got onto the topic and one of my in-laws mentioned how amazing avocado is with tuna salad. Double win: avocados also add flavor and nutrients along with the calories, and the Latin grocery store down the street always has ripened ones at a great price.

So, to recap: fast, tasty, full of nutrients, easily scaleable, stores/transports well for leftovers, and it's super simple - what's not to love?

Tuna/Avocado/Egg Salad

  • 1 "Family Size" envelope of tuna in water (or two 5 oz cans)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
Start to hard boil the eggs. 
There are different ways to do this. Personally, I use my electric kettle--put the eggs in, cover with an inch or so extra of water and turn it on. It will bring the water quickly to a boil, at which point it turns itself off and I start a 10-minute timer. I then drain the eggs and pour cold water over them to bring their temperature down. If you don't have a kettle, you can do the same thing with a saucepan on the stove, but this is faster and easier (though, admittedly, there are electric kettles out there that have wider mouths than mine, which would make for easier egg insertion/removal).
Chop the onion ("With a fan cut," as Abby says), dice the carrots and put into a large mixing bowl. Empty the envelope of tuna into the bowl (or open and drain if you are using cans). Add mayonnaise and dijon mustard; mix the two together before stirring to combine the ingredients. 
Whether due to her pregnant nose or just a greater sensitivity to mustard, Sharon made this suggestion, and it's a good one--mix the mustard and mayonnaise together first to help ensure you don't end up with surprising lumps of mustard in your salad. Not sure whether it's the potency or the fact that it's a liquid, but it's harder to evenly mix mustard into tuna without this step. By now you're probably pretty close to the eggs being done.
After finished cooling, gently break the shell of the egg all around and roll it between your palms. Find where the air bubble was and peel back the shell with the membrane still intact. Chop the egg roughly and add to bowl. Stir to combine. 
This is key and I can't tell you how much faster it makes peeling eggs than trying to do it bit by bit. If you're lucky, you'll get the whole thing off in a single strip.
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the inside with a spoon and chop roughly. Stir gently to combine. 
The avocado goes in last because it's a little more tender, and I like having individual chunks rather than having it all completely blended into mush. Of course, if you wanted this all blended into mush, you could just save yourself a lot of trouble and throw everything into the food processor. Hmm... that might make quite a nice party dip, come to think of it...
Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste. 
If you absolutely need me to tell you how much, I'd say go with 1/4 tsp each of paprika and salt and a few grinds of black pepper to mix. But, really, I'd stick my original advice of "to taste"--you figure out how much flavoring you want in there.

Also, I'll say this--whatever acidity is present from the onions seems to be enough to keep the avocado from going brown. Just had some for lunch today (made it for dinner two days ago) and am only now seeing a little bit of browning on the pieces open to the air. Press plastic wrap down against it if you're making it ahead, or you can always give it a squeeze of lemon juice.


1 comment:

David O'Hara said...

Just made this last night, using your blog as my cookbook. Best tuna salad or egg salad ever.