In elementary school, I ate school lunch most days. I didn’t mind. In fact, I really liked the grilled cheese, salad bar (a special privilege for 4th graders), and square pizza. Ah…square pizza. But, my mom would pack my lunch from time to time. I loved those days. I’d sit among my friends and carefully unpack my lunch bag, item by item, always saving the napkin for last because my mom often wrote notes on them.
As I got older, my mom packed my lunch for me more often. In high school, she did so pretty much every day. If I didn’t have anything that needed to stay cold, she’d put everything in a brown paper bag, carefully folded, and stapled shut with a raffia bow on the top. I loved it. So did my friends. (When you go to an all-girls school, details such as raffia bows don’t go unnoticed.) But even better than the raffia bows were the days when I got napkin notes. My mom always knew just what and when to write. If I had a big test, she’d wish me luck. If I was just plain exhausted from cheer, dance, school plays, and studying, she’s just leave me her signature capital cursive L with a smiley face. It always made me feel better.
Now I’m grown up, but I still bring my lunch every day. As a teacher, I have to. I now have the advantage of being able to microwave my food, but sometimes a sandwich, like this Mediterranean tuna one, is just the ticket. This isn’t your white bread, mayo-laden tuna sandwich, though. It’s light, bright, and bursting with flavors my adult palate has come to love. But you know what? Packed in a brown bag with some veggies and hummus or a piece of fruit, this recipe still makes for a great sack lunch. The only thing missing is a napkin note.
Mediterranean Tuna Sandwiches
slightly adapted from from Ellie Krieger, So Easy
2 (6-oz.) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained well
1/4 c. finely diced red onion
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped kalamata olives
2 TBSP olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
3 c. mixed greens (about 1 1/2 oz.)
1 large tomato, sliced
8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
1. In a medium bowl combine the tuna, onion, parsley, olives, olive oil, lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper.
2. Toast bread, if desired. Place 1/4 tuna salad onto four pieces of bread. Top with greens and a few tomato slices. Serve immediately. (If taking for lunch, take components separately and assemble sandwich just before eating.) Serves 4.