Yes we’re having a heatwave in the UK. I know it’s not considered too hot by foreign standards, but trust me, London is not built for this sort of heat! Most buildings don’t have air conditioning, simply because we’d only need it a few weeks a year. The NHS certainly doesn’t seem to regularly invest in this! On Monday, our computers in the building actually stopped working because of the heat. Why am I going on about the heat in a food blog? One, because it’s the number one British past time to talk about and make life decisions based around the weather. But more importantly, two, because when it’s hot I always find myself craving a salad!
This salad was borne out of a Friday night improvisation. We tend to be out on Fridays, so when we do our meal plans for the week we don’t usually take Friday into account. This means that when we do find ourselves at home, we often end up eating out or getting takeaway. But in the interest of saving money and being healthy, I ended up making this salad with the scraps of food left in the fridge and what we had in the storecupboard. And we’ve had it a number of times since then, finding it the perfect, easy and last minute meal to fall back on. As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention!
This salad can be made in the time it takes to boil the eggs (sticking to my Dutch roots, this will always be hard boiled for me), or if you’re soft boiling, just in excess of that. So basically, it takes up to 10 minutes! It’s essentially a tuna salad or a variant of a tuna nicoise, but it’s simple, low fat, healthy and works really well. I’m not big on olives so I finely chop them for that tapenade sort of feel, but you can also leave them whole. And a quick note on balmasic syrup – absolute game changer. Swap your balsamic vinegar for it right away. I put this on most of my salads now, and use it almost daily. It’s perfect for lunch salads as well, because it doesn’t leave your salad all soppy when you dress it in advance.
This serves 1, and is filling enough not to require any carbs to be added to it.
- Two handfuls of spinach (around 80g), roughly chopped
- One handful cherry tomatoes (around 100g), quartered
- 100g tuna (half a can)
- 6 black olives, either halved or finely chopped (chefs choice)
- Balsamic syrup, for drizzling
- Olive oil (around 1 tbsp), for drizzling
- 10g pine nuts
- 1-2 eggs, boiled
- Salt and pepper
How to make it…
- Put your eggs on to boil (cooking them to taste). Then prepare your ingredients as specified, and add the spinach, tomatoes, tuna and olives to a large bowl or plate in which you intend to serve the salad. Then drizzle the olive oil and the balsamic syrup over the top.
- In a frying pan, heat the pine nuts for a few minutes on a medium heat (WITHOUT OIL), until they start to brown and they begin to give off a lovely nutty scent. Stir to ensure they don’t blacken on any sides. Then sprinkle over the salad.
- Peel the quarter the eggs, and add to the top of the salad.
- Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!