Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuna Pan Bagnat

Cooking without meat is requiring more prep than I realized. This morning, it dawned on me that I would have to prepare the tuna casserole for dinner at 5 am, and then put it in the fridge so my daughter could put it in the oven before I get home from work. We only have an hour from the time I get home until it's time to leave for piano lessons. My husband commented how he so loves tuna casserole (I'll blog about that recipe on another day), but how sick of it he will be when Lent is over. I never make tuna casserole during ordinary time.

For lunch, I also had tuna. I made a sandwich based on a recipe in this month's Cook's Illustrated. I love tuna, but too much tuna is a bad thing. Have you seen the Environmental Working Group's Tuna Calculator? Evidently I can only safely consume 3 cans of chunk light tuna per week or I am at risk of too much mercury exposure. Who knew? The original recipe called for premium tuna - I spent $4 on a can of Italian tuna packed in olive oil and was underwhelmed. Probably the biggest calorie offender in a sandwich is the bread - this recipe uses a really good baguette hollowed out to minimize calories and maximize the flavor.

Tuna Bagnat (inspired by this month's Cooking Light)

1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
Juice from half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (6-ounce) can chunk light tuna in olive oil, drained
1 hard-cooked large egg, chopped

1 (8-ounce) whole-wheat French bread baguette
1 garlic clove, halved
1 cup thinly sliced plum tomato (about 1)
About 12 fresh basil leaves

Combine filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut bread in half horizontally. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use like the topping for a future tuna casserole. Rub cut sides of garlic clove over cut sides of bread; discard garlic. Spoon filling on bottom half of baguette. Arrange tomato slices and basil leaves over tuna mixture. Cover with top half of baguette. Wrap filled baguette in plastic wrap, and let stand for 20 minutes. Cut filled baguette into 4 (3-inch) equal portions.

Serves 4

1 comment:

Nila Rosa said...

Oh wow. I didn't know that about the tuna. Sometimes that's all I eat the whole week. Hmm..I hope it doesn't have any bad effects on me.