Like many bloggers, I like to check out my traffic stats on a regular basis, just to see where people are coming from and what has led them to PGEW. I find it both fascinating & humbling to know that there are people in Spain or Germany or the UK who somehow end up stumbling upon my little blog and stay awhile to read what I have to say.
The most interesting data for me comes from the types of searches that lead people here. Most searches are pretty straightforward: specific recipes, uses for certain ingredients and the like. But sometimes the Google searches that bring people to PGEW can be a little… different. Some are disturbing, others a little confusing, but in general they’re just amusing. “Who is the patron saint of burritos?” is pretty much my all-time favorite odd search, but this week I came across another interesting/amusing search: someone came looking for “unconscious tuna salad”.
After giggling for a little bit (I couldn’t help myself), I realized that this wasn’t such a bad search after all. It reminded me that I hadn’t had a good tuna salad in ages, and with spring finally showing its face around here, it seemed like a perfect time to whip up a new batch.
In Tuna Salad Land, there are two distinct camps: the sweet tuna lovers and the savory tuna fans. For most of my life, I’ve been a part of the latter, primarily because I grew up with my mom’s completely kickass tuna & scallion salad. After having something so crisp and refreshing, it was almost depressing to have to take a bite of the sweet pickle relish kind.
While that version has grown on me over the years, I’m still a bigger fan of more savory tuna salads, my favorite being the fabulous Mediterranean Style Tuna Salad I posted a couple years back. Unfortunately, I only had tuna and baby spinach to play with, so that salad was out of the question. But once I’m struck with a craving, I cannot let the idea go until I’ve satisfied that crazy need. I was going to come up with something else.
It looked like the ingredients in my pantry were conspiring to make sure I had something sweet thrown into my tuna because the only things that seemed to work well were dried cranberries and slivered roasted almonds. Luckily, tuna’s one of those uber-versatile ingredients that can go in a million different directions depending on what you pair it with, so once it was mixed together with the fruit & nuts and a couple other key ingredients, I ended up with a pretty nice little salad.
With some dried herbs and crisp red onion I was able to have my savory craving satisfied, but the dried cranberries also lent a sweet-tart kick that was a welcome change to my standard tuna fare. The slivered roasted almonds also added a fun, crunchy texture to the mix. This easy-to-prepare salad is great on its own with some fresh greens, or in a sandwich as I’ve done here. It would also make a fantastic pita filling, if you prefer that kind of sandwich. I’m pretty sure the kids will like it, too! Let’s check it out.
Cranberry-Almond Tuna Salad Sandwiches (makes 2 sandwiches, total cost per sandwich: ~ $1.75)
1 can of water-packed tuna, drained
2 T finely chopped red onion
3 T dried cranberries
2 T slivered roasted almonds
2-3 T mayonnaise (you can use more or less depending on personal taste)
1/2 t herbes de provence*
Pinch of salt & pepper
4 slices whole grain, whole wheat bread
Small handful of baby spinach or spring mix
1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix together until completely combined. Check for flavor and add salt & pepper to taste.
2. Toast or grill the bread to desired doneness.
3. Add half the tuna salad mixture on one side of each sandwich and spread a tiny amount of mayo on the other side.
4. Top with greens, put the sandwiches together, grab some napkins, and enjoy!
*Can’t find herbes de provence at your store? Make your own version with equal amounts of dried thyme, basil, savory, and marjoram, a couple small pinches of fennel seed and rosemary, and if you have it, a tiny amount of dried lavender (yes, lavender!). Mix together until thoroughly combined, store in an airtight container, and voila! Your very own jar of herbes de provence.