Of all the interesting herbs growing in our garden, Thyme has been the most surprising. I have never, at least in recent memory, used fresh Thyme before now. Thyme is usually delivered to my cooking vessels via a glass bottle with a plastic shaker lid– dried and less flavorful than fresh, perhaps even stale and tasteless.
A few months ago, I was given a gift of a small Thyme plant, which grew from a few sprigs into a giant, fragrant shrub. I have learned to love Thyme, and I am here to sing its praises.
Thyme is trying. It’s burdensome to remove the tiny leaves from the sprig– a test of patience– something I have learned well since planting seeds and raising a garden.
I have found that the best herb to go with Tuna– whether canned Tuna or fresh Ahi or so– is Thyme with its citrusy and bright flavor. Tuna is savory, especially canned Tuna, and it is intensely difficult to balance the savory enough without a heap of mayonnaise. Thyme cuts through the savory, and adds the perfect balance to Tuna salad, even without mayonnaise.
My latest Tuna Salad is made with Kidney Beans, Thyme, Artichoke Hearts, canned Tuna, In stead of mayonnaise, I use Olive Oil and a little Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered and organic of course) with Sea Salt, White Pepper and a few chunks of garden fresh Cherry Tomatoes. While I served my Tuna Salad on a toasted whole wheat English Muffin, you can drop it on a bed of lettuce, a bed of rice, or even pasta. I used canned Artichoke Hearts, however, I can guarantee fresh grilled Artichoke Hearts would be loads better! And never mind the canned Tuna, if you have a little fresh grilled Tuna, you’re moving towards a gourmet version of Tuna Salad!
If you’re using canned Kidney Beans, be sure to read your label. Many canned beans contain sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and other atrocities to man. Be certain the label reads: Beans, Water, Salt.
Tonya’s Thyme Tuna
1 can of chunk Tuna, drained (gourmet: fresh grilled or leftover grilled Tuna)
4 Artichoke Hearts, diced and chopped (gourmet: fresh grilled artichoke hearts)
1/2 cup Kidney Beans (look for canned Kidneys with no added sugar. Ingredients should say: Beans, Water, Salt.)
2-4 Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (gourmet: unfiltered offers the best flavor)
A Splash or Two of Unfiltered Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (If you do not have Apple Cider Vinegar, do not substitute with other, use more Lemon Juice)
One Spoon of Dijon Mustard
A Squeeze of Lemon Juice
A Small Splash of White Wine
A Sprig of Fresh Thyme Leaves, leaves removed and larger ones chopped
Redmond’s Sea Salt (other Sea Salt is acceptable)
Ground White Pepper (Black Pepper will work, however, it is a tad too hot for Tuna)
Drain the Tuna and add to medium mixing bowl. Add Artichoke Hearts, Kidney Beans, Tomatoes and stir. Add 1 TBSP Olive Oil and mix. Mix Vinegar and Dijon Mustard in a ramekin, then add to Tuna. Squeeze Lemon in, add the White Wine, Thyme, Salt and Pepper and mix. If the mixture is too dry, add more Olive Oil as needed. Go ahead, it’s good for you!
After mixing, let rest and meld in refrigerator for a few hours, or eat immediately.
Serve on Toast, a Bed of Lettuce, a Bed of Brown Rice or eat plain. Make it a melt by spooning Tuna on Toast, shred cheese on top of Tuna and toast in the oven.
I hope you like this new rendition of Tuna Salad!