By Riki Shore
Often for lunch I make a quick, fresh salad using whatever vegetables or protein I have on hand. It might feature leftovers from last night’s dinner or greens from our farmer’s market, which sells hydroponic salad greens (truly!). It’s always tossed with a homemade vinaigrette. Not only does making your own salad dressing save money on groceries, it’s always more delicious than what comes out of a prepackaged bottle. The right dressing can make or break the salad.
Salads for lunch are quick to prepare, affordable, and nutritious. They also help beat the heat in summer – or all year in Southern California. There are endless varieties of salad combinations, so let your taste and imagination guide you.
This tuna salad has cucumbers, red onion, goat cheese, and a mustard vinaigrette. The dressing keeps about two weeks in the fridge, so make a small bottle to have on hand for several meals in a row. Use the best olive oil you can afford, since its flavor will come out in the finished dish.
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons grainy mustard
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil, or more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Add the mustards, vinegar, salt and pepper to a small jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake to combine all the ingredients.
2. Add the olive oil, recap the jar and shake to emulsify the dressing. Taste and add more olive oil, vinegar, salt or pepper as needed to suit your tastes. Keeps refrigerated up to two weeks.
1 can yellowfin tuna in olive oil
thin slices of cucumber, sliced in half crosswise
slivers of red onion, to taste
salad greens of your choice, preferably organic
plain chevre, or soft goat cheese, crumbled
1. Choose a wide plate or bowl for your salad.
2. Mound the salad greens in the center of your plate or bowl.
3. Scatter the cucumber and onion evenly over the greens.
4. Drain the tuna, and mince it with a fork to fine pieces. Scatter this over the veggies.
5. Top the whole thing with crumbles of goat cheese, an extra sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of pepper.
6. Toss with the mustard vinaigrette and enjoy.
This is what this salad looked like before it was tossed: