Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Art is not a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; art is a great matter.
Leo Tolstoy (What is Art?)
Ok, ok, I know what you're thinking: anybody can make a sandwich. That is in fact a true statement. In fact, its very truth is probably the reason that I'm telling you about it. It's not all about risottos, gnocchi and fancy side dishes of stewed vegetables or gratin. You too can have this amazingly delicious, yet oh so simple dinner! In my mind, those two phrases are nothing short of a winning combination. But even if you don't want to eat this sandwich and are personally affronted that I would put a mere sandwich on a food blog, that's ok too. We're all entitled to our opinions. It made for a few lovely pictures, which, ultimately, has given me a newfound appreciation for the genre of the sandwich. My word choice alone should be telling you that any potential snobbery on your behalf is sorely misplaced.
Plus, although my health has improved immensely, I'm still slightly congested and, after returning from a long, yet happy day of reading about different definitions of art in the Rare Books Library and contemplating lofty matters like how nationalism can be a mask that certain authors and other artists often (mistakenly) wear, I had no desire to make anything fancy or elaborate. Or crack open a cookbook. More importantly, it just so happens that I like sandwiches. A lot. :)
Especially when it's toasted on the old George Foreman and is filled with a tangy, garlicky and slightly spicy home-made tuna salad, Pepper Jack Cheese and slices of tomatoes. What inspired this? Besides the slight fatigue I was happily feeling after again becoming a productive and participating member of society, I had read about foods that will help fight the flu; number one on that list: garlic! Yep, it's not just for repelling vampires anymore...and, considering I like feeling healthy and functional, I'm willing to do--and eat--almost anything in my power to stay that way. The key word being almost.
And for those of you wondering why I'm setting little bowls of tuna salad on beautifully written National Book Award Finalists, I'll let you in on two secrets: 1) the best lighting in my otherwise fabulous apartment stems from the lamp on my nightstand, which is where any reasonable individual keeps his or her bedtime reading material; 2) The snippet of the book's title that is visible to you is a message about this sandwich that you are supposed to take to heart. Subtle? Not at all. Genuine? Absolutely!
The best thing you can do for yourself is to pair this fabulous sandwich with some mixed greens and a dressing that will equally pack a little garlicky and mustardy balsamic punch. From the ingredients used to the dishes you choose to eat on, even an ultimately simple dinner on a Monday evening can be gussied up. Whoever said eating alone couldn't be fun?
Spicy Tuna Salad Sandwich
The perfect meal for one, although the salad itself makes 2 servings
For the salad:
1 can of tuna
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill
4-5 cornichons, slice into tiny pieces
2 tsps. mayonnaise
1 tsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
A few sprinkles of salt and pepper for seasoning
-Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Adjust to taste.
-Take your choice of bread (I prefer wheat), top them several thick slices of cheese (preferably something with some flavor like Pepper Jack), tomato slices and the tuna mixture. Press them together, put them on the Foreman and give it about 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread oh so lovely, toasty-looking and golden.