Tomatoes and Eggs with Tuna Sauce
1 can oil-packed tuna* see note
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup canola or other neutral flavored oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Red wine vinegar
Optional additions: Sliced boiled potatoes, grilled zucchini, blan
Optional garnishes: capers, chopped cornichons, chopped pepperoncini, chopped parsley, chopped tarragon, ripped basil leaves, celery leaves, thinly sliced red onion
BRING a small pot of water to a boil.
USING a spoon, gently lower your eggs into the boiling water (one and a half eggs per person is a generous amount). Boil the eggs for eight minutes, then remove them and cool in a bowl of ice water. When cool, peel the eggs and cut them in quarters, the long way.
MEANWHILE MAKE the tuna sauce.
PLACE one raw egg yolk in a mixing bowl with one clove of very finely minced garlic and about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Very slowly (start out drop-by-drop) drizzle in the olive oil and then the canola oil, whisking the entire time. As the mixture emulsifies it will get more stable and you can pour the oil in a slow, steady stream, continually whisking. If it ever looks too thick, you can add a small spoonful of water.
OPEN the can of tuna, but leave the lid attached at one point. Slowly pour in the oil and any other liquid in the tuna can, still whisking, while holding the lid to keep the tuna from dumping out yet.
THEN DUMP the tuna into the mayonnaise. Stir vigorously with a fork, breaking up chunks of tuna, until the mixture is smooth and sauce-like. Now taste your sauce and season accordingly. Salt and pepper are de rigeur. A healthy splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar is appropriate. A few sloshes of vinegar-based hot sauce -- Tabasco or Texas Pete -- are not out of place.
SLICE your tomatoes in a direction parallel to the ends. Lay them on a platter and intersperse decoratively with your quartered eggs and any other vegetables you're using. Make it pretty. Sprinkle the whole platter with salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinegar.
TAKE your tuna sauce and put schmears and plops of it all over everything. Add any supplemental garnishes; a leafy green herb gives good color for minimal effort, and give the whole thing a final gloss of olive oil.
SERVE with crusty bread to mop up tomato-tuna juices and a bottle of Provencal rosé to pretend you're in the South of France (or the North of Italy).
Oil-packed tuna is sold at the Kanawha City Kroger and the Ashton Place Kroger, shelved with Italian ingredients, but not the West Side Kroger. A higher-quality, more expensive variety is sold at the Fish Market on Quarrier Street.
Reach David Gutman @david.gutman.com or at 304-348-5115.