With Christmas just 6 days away, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed with all the tasks still undone. This last week went by at lightning speed, and I’m definitely feeling the crunch (I haven’t exactly made any progress on my to-do list since my previous post…). Thankfully, all the gifts for my immediate family have been purchased and wrapped, but I have a few items for extended relatives that need to see the inside of a post office ASAP if I want them to arrive at their destination before the holiday.
Considering the final preparations that need to take place and the fact that this week is looking like it’s going to be a busy one for our family in general, I’d say it’s a good time to simplify. I’m planning on sticking to the basics for our nightly dinners in the days ahead…gotta save my energy for the cooking and celebrating that will be happening this weekend!
So it’s with simplicity in mind that I want to share this Cranberry Apple Tuna Salad with you. The recipe is easy-peasy, and you may already have most of the ingredients on hand. What I’m enjoying most about this dish right now is its lightness, which is a welcome change of pace from all the rich foods of the season, yet it still has a playfulness in flavor and texture that makes it interesting and unique.
Dill pickles and extra pickle juice crank up the acidity and, when countered with the fruit and a touch of extra sugar, create an unexpected sweet and sour combination. The crunch of the apple and celery, the chewiness of the cranberries, and the softness of the egg combine to form a bite that’s a far cry from the plain Jane tuna I grew up with. There are lots of delicious ways to serve this salad, but for me, it doesn’t get any better than eating it atop a slice of freshly baked artisan bread.
- 2 5-ounce cans tuna in water, well drained
- 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped apple
- 1/2 cup diced dill pickles
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Dash freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to incorporate. Add additional sugar, salt, and/or pepper to taste.
- Serve it however you like. It’s tasty on a bed of greens, with crackers, or on a sandwich.
Tips and Tidbits
- The mix-ins included in this recipe are meant to be a guideline and the quantities are approximate. You can omit ingredients that don’t appeal to you or add additional ingredients such as toasted chopped walnuts, halved grapes, or fresh dill. This is an easy opportunity to be creative!
- For perfect hardboiled eggs every time, do what my mom always did. Submerge raw eggs in cold water in a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once the water is boiling rapidly, start a timer for 8 minutes. At the end of 8 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and set it in the kitchen sink. Run very cold tap water over the eggs for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and cool the eggs.
- This tuna salad could easily be converted into a chicken or egg salad. For chicken salad, swap out the tuna for an equal portion of meat. To make egg salad, omit the tuna and add 4 additional hardboiled eggs.
- It may seem strange that I put extra pickle juice in my tuna salad, but it’s a trick I learned from my family growing up, and it really makes the flavors pop. It’s the secret ingredient that I also like to add to my deviled eggs and potato salad