Genève’s Kitchen

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Table for One, Please

May 31st, 2006 · 8 Comments

tuna salad1.jpgIn general I enjoy food and cooking as a shared experience. I like to cook meals that elicit a positive response and now that I have a blog where I write about the food that I cook I make an extra attempt at making meals that are presentable and blog-worthy. My boyfriend is definitely the beneficiary of these attempts.

On the days where I find myself having a quiet evening alone however, I relish the simplicity of the night. I can watch whatever trashy entertainment television I want without having to hear any slack for it and I can do it while eating one of my favorite simple meals.

My simple salad, which resembles a tuna nicoise salad, offers a healthy, delicious, and incredibly easy dinner any night of the week. (This is a fantastic lunch as well.)
I find that I never really make the same version of this salad twice – it’s all about using whatever you have on hand. The basic elements include either mixed greens, baby arugula, or baby spinach, canned tuna in water (I really like tongol tuna), an assortment of vegetables, some kind of cheese like goat or feta, and then my super simple everyday dressing. If I happen to have some leftover roasted asparagus from the night before I’ll add that, or if I have some great olives on hand those will go in too. Walnuts are another great addition.
This is a satisfying meal and you won’t have to turn on the stove or do many dishes. All the more time to enjoy that juicy television!
Here’s the recipe for the salad that I enjoyed today. Get creative with your version of this salad to make it your own – let your refrigerator guide you by what you’ve already got on hand…

Baby Spinach with Fennel and Tuna

  • Baby spinach – a few handfuls (I always have a few varieties of greens on hand, the kind that come in plastic box-like containers are convenient and I find that they last me the week without wilting)
  • 1 can Tongol tuna packed in water (I figure 1/2 can per person)
  • 1/2 fennel bulb finely sliced (again, use what you have on hand – grape tomatoes, carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, roasted veggies from last nights dinner, edamame…)
  • 3 Tablespoons red onion finely chopped – I only put the measurements here as a guideline, there’s really no need to measure accurately – just add your desired quantity
  • 1/4 cucumber chopped
  • 6 olives – these add a great salty flavor but again, totally optional
  • Herbed goat cheese – I just crumble it into the salad, add desired amount
  • A few leaves of torn basil

For the dressing:

This is my everyday salad dressing that I use all the time.  I never measure it – I just add these ingredients over the salad and then stir it all together. I’ve included measurements below but taste for yourself as you make this and adjust the flavorings to exactly your liking. (Dressing amounts here are for a single portion – you may need to double for a larger salad…)

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Teaspoon honey
Sea salt/Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Tags: Entree · Salads

8 responses so far ↓

  • Tanna // Jun 1, 2006 at 4:49 am

    I like the way you cook. I aim to have leftover asparagus, it just doesn’t always work out that way. Great looking salad.

  • Geneve // Jun 1, 2006 at 8:12 am

    Thanks Tanna!

  • AdamD // Jun 8, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Whoa. This is my favorite so far. I tried to decide what one thing really makes it, but I couldn’t point it out. With most salads, it seems like there’s always something that is the key ingredient. Here, they were all equally good, which makes for a pretty fantastic salad.

  • Geneve // Jun 8, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    Adam, I’m so glad that you like this salad! It’s so versatile and I love to make it using whatever I have on hand. It’s such an easy way to whip up a healthy, quick, and satisfying meal. Enjoy!

  • Genève’s Kitchen » Blog Archive » A Sure Bet Vinaigrette // Jul 30, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    [...] I love salads and one accompanies most dinners that I prepare.  I love to enjoy my salad after the main course as I find it to be a lovely finish to the meal.  My everyday dressing is simple and fast but I have to admit that making other variations are pretty simple too and they only call for a few extra ingredients.  Having some good dressing recipes in your repertoire is a great thing, in my opinion, as they can be used for all kinds of salads: lettuce, pasta, veggie, bean…the possibilities are endless!  [...]