This tuna salad changed the way I think about the kinds of salads that go between two slices of bread. No longer am I married to smearing tuna or chicken with a white substance of choice; olive oil is an excellent substitute for mayonnaise in this case.
To the same tune, I’m trying to expand the list of ingredients I put in such salads. Consider fruit. Tuna salad with apples? Sure, done it. Chicken salad with grapes? Totally acceptable. Why not, I thought to myself as I scanned my June-happy refrigerator, salmon salad with cherries? And what better way to use leftover salmon?
I pulled the salmon apart into big flakes, and tossed it into a bowl with halved, pitted cherries, halved kalamata olives, a bit of chopped parsley, plus olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, in about the same proportions as before. The sharp tang of the cherries and the salty olives provided a great contrast to the deep, rich salmon, and the olive oil and lemon juice combination gave it the moisture crucial to the palatibility of every fish salad.
The cat showed up and started begging for salmon, and I underestimated his ability to wreak havoc. I took a photo of him because I thought it was innocent and endearing, the way he was licking his chops with anticipation:
While I was taking photos of the salmon salad still in its mixing bowl, he reached his little paw through my arms and under the camera, folded it over the edge of the bowl like a human hand, and pulled the bowl down off the stool I had it balanced on. I was quick enough to get my hand underneath the upside-down bowl as it tumbled to its doom, but I somehow caught the salmon without catching the bowl. So the bowl and a few bits of salmon went flying, and there I was, crouched under the counter, holding a considerable handful of salmon salad, olive oil dripping down the back of my hand and under my watch. The toaster sensed my distress and popped its contents up just in time for me to dump the salmon/cherry/olive mess unceremoniously onto one piece of toast. (In my haste, I dropped the other one on the floor.) Then there it was, a beatiful salmon bruschetta, surprisingly unruffled, colorful and lively and healthful and ready for a starring role on my arugula salad.
I ate a quiet, uneventful lunch.