This is what happens when you crave sandwiches and the only bread you have are those days-and-days-old bready end bits hanging in the bread bag. So you call yourself innovative and make a salad with big buttery, garlicky homemade croutons and your summer supper turns out deliciously.
Originally, I was craving this chickpea salad/sandwich stuffer recipe. It’s delicious. But then I spied a recipe that looked very similar but included a can of tuna. I had a can of tuna! So I modified the recipe based on what I had and came up with something quite tasty. It’s lemony and tangy and crunchy and totally refreshing. Perfect summer evening food. Even more perfect after a hot and busy day where you’re quite pooped by nightfall and calling away for take-out seems easier. This meal is flexible and you probably have most everything in your fridge and cupboards. It’s a bit of a big ol’ lifesaver kind of meal.
Vegetables get diced, cans get drained and dumped, plops of dijon, mayo and yogurt get mixed along with a few other flavour enhancers and there you have it. But wait, take the extra step and make a batch of homemade croutons. No oven needed, it’s too freakin’ hot for that. Just use a skillet, some butter, garlic and day old bread. The end ugly pieces that get left in the bag are perfect for this. Lightly toast them until they get fragrant, crispy and chewy. Add some greens to your plate, top with the salad mixture and scatter the warm croutons over top. Eat outside if preferable. Or in front of the tv watching Comedy Bang Bang (my new favourite tv discovery – their podcast is great too especially when you’re road-trippin’!). No judgements, just delicious. Eat up.
PS, I just ate the leftovers for lunch. No croutons, sadly. But! But!! It was so, so good. Cold from the fridge on a hot day. Hello, lunch.
chickpea, tuna & onion salad with creamy lemon dressing
(adapted from Bon Appétit)
A perfect summer meal. If you have some fresh garden tomatoes on hand, chop one up and throw it in – it would be a lovely addition to a summer supper. Or forgo the croutons and stuff this mixture into pita bread for a messy but delicious sandwich. Next time I make this, I’m adding in 2 cans of tuna because I think the tuna got a bit lost here. If you’re vegetarian, skip the tuna, and it will be just as delicious.
3 large scallions, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 can of water-packed tuna, drained
1 T sweet pickle brine (if you have it)
1 T dijon mustard
1 T low fat greek yogurt
1 T fat-reduced mayo
1 T capers, chopped
1/2 lemon, zest & juice
a few shakes of your favourite hot sauce
salt & pepper to taste
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices day-old country bread, diced
In a large serving bowl, combine all the vegetables and chickpeas together. Add the tuna, breaking into the tuna with a fork. Stir in the brine (if using), along with the mustard, yogurt, mayo, capers and lemon juice/zest. Add in hot sauce and salt and pepper after tasting & only if needed. Set aside.
In a medium sized skillet, melt butter and let the garlic get fragrant over medium-high heat. Add in the bread cubes, stirring until coated in butter. Toast the bread, turning occasionally to not burn. Remove from heat when crisp.
To serve, line 4 plates with the mixed greens, top with the chickpea-tuna mixture and then scatter croutons over top. Dig in.