I like to support local farmers whenever possible and to purchase their produce. While driving through the countryside about an hour north of here last week, I saw a sign pointing to the Naquin Family Tomato Farm. Wow, I love garden-ripened tomatoes in the summertime. I took a quick detour and stopped in at the roadside packing building. I left with a large bag of vine ripened Celebrity tomatoes. Now to savor the tomatoes and make a few of my favorite dishes such as ripe tomatoes and Tuna Fish Salad.
The owner of this small, local farm north of Zachary, Louisiana, is Will Naquin. Here is Will holding some of his tomatoes. Will plants over 10,000 tomato plants in the spring on 2-1/2 acres of farm land. He also grows squash, eggplant and other summer vegetables. That’s alot of tomatoes. Will sells them to local stores, at his packing plant and at the Saturday Baton Rouge farmer’s market.
I could be happy eating just plain sliced, ripe tomatoes. But why not get a little creative. Ripe tomatoes and tuna fish salad just go together perfectly. Add some crackers, other ripe vegetables, lettuce and it’s a meal.
Tuna salad isn’t difficult to make and it doesn’t have to be fancy. Simple is better. But I’m sort of particular about how I make it; the flavors should blend together.I used “chunk white albacore tuna” packed in water for my salad. This tuna has smaller pieces than “solid white albacore tuna” and still has a mild flavor and white color. Since I planned to flake the tuna, the size of the tuna chunks really didn’t matter. After draining the tuna, I used a fork to finely flake the tuna.
My tuna salad also contains hard boiled eggs, alot of them. It adds to the favor and texture. I make a sauce of real mayonnaise, (Kraft or Hellmann’s brands), sweet onion and just a little dill pickle juice or apple cider vinegar. For seasonings, I use salt, black pepper and dry mustard (not shown). Mix the sauce ingredients together and pour over the finely flaked tuna and chopped hard boiled eggs. Let the salad chill until time to serve.
You can get fancy, and hollow out the tomatoes. I keep it easy and just core a small tomato and slice into six pieces — but not entirely through the base. Add the tuna fish in the center of the tomato on a lettuce leaf and sprinkle with paprika for some color. Delicious — one of my favorite ways to eat both tuna salad and tomatoes.
- 4 small, very ripe tomatoes
- 2 cans (5 oz each) chunk white albacore tuna packed in water, drained
- 4 large eggs, hard boiled and cooled
- 1/2 cup real mayonnaise (Kraft or Hellmann’s brands)
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or dill pickle juice
- 1 Tbsp sweet Vidalia onion, finely shredded
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- dash of paprika
- leaf lettuce leaves
- cucumber slices (optional)
- asparagus spears, blanched and drained (optional)
Method and Steps:
- Slice a very thin piece off the bottom of the tomatoes so they will sit flat on a plate. Core the stem end of tomato and cut into six slices, but not through the base. Set aside.
- Drain the cans of tuna fish and place the fish in medium bowl. Use a fork to finely flake the tuna fish. Set aside.
- Hard boil the eggs if not already done so. Add eggs to small pot and add cold water to cover eggs. Place on stove and bring to boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer eggs for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour off hot water and add cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel shells off eggs. Cool to room temperature. Chop eggs into small pieces.
- Add chopped eggs to flaked tuna fish.
- In another small bowl, make sauce. Add mayonnaise, cider vinegar or dill pickle juice, onion, salt, mustard powder and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Pour sauce over tuna fish and eggs, gently stir to combine.
- Add cored and sliced tomatos to a lettuce leaf on individual plates and spread sections of tomato apart. Add heaping 1/2 cup tuna fish in center and sprinkle paprika on top for color.
- If desired, serve with cucumber slices and blanched asparagus spears.
Try my recipe for tuna fish salad. I think you will like it.
I do! And if you are driving through the countryside of Louisiana in a few months of the summer — May thru first part of July — stop in at Naquin’s Tomato Farm. There is nothing better than a vine ripened tomato!