04 Oct 2012
Vegan MoFo 2012 – Better than Tuna Salad
Well we all know that, right?
For this post, I turn to The Vegan Table to try a faux-fishy salad that I know nothing about.
The Vegan Table is a beautiful cookbook, written by a totally inspirational vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Colleen is an accomplished chef and skilled communicator who tirelessly advocates on behalf of animals. I recommend listening to her informative podcast, in fact I credit it as having a big influence on my decision to go vegan.
I’ve owned The Vegan Table for a couple of years now and it’s been well-used. However, I am guilty of repeat recipe offences. For instance, I routinely make the caramelised tempeh shawarmas, spring rolls, thai slaw and red lentil artichoke stew. Sure, I’ve flagged other recipes to make but just end up going back to those tried and tested favourites.
So in flicking back through the book this time, I decided to ignore the flags of good intention and make something that would not normally catch my eye…
Better than Tuna Salad
I am completely unfamiliar with the non-vegan version of this salad and having not eaten animal flesh for over 22 years, references to ‘tuna’ don’t resonate with my palette.
However I’ve read lots of positive things about Colleen’s faux-fishy dish, so with no expectations to meet I thought I’d give it a go. At least it would be something different to take for lunch.
Better Than Tuna Salad doesn’t require any cooking. It’s basically chickpeas mixed with veges, walnuts, vegan mayo, parsley and other seasonings.
Chopping the carrots, capsicum and celery was the most time consuming bit. I should have used the julienne attachment on my mandolin, but I must have been suffering kitchen gadget amnesia ;)
I blended the chickpeas in a food processor to give them the “flaky” texture called for in the recipe. Once I added the mayo and chopped walnuts and combined everything together, the colour of the salad changed. It started to turn a light brown and look, well, like something I wouldn’t really want to eat.
I gave it a taste and it was just like… chickpea salad. Phew! I bumped up the salt and added the suggested dulse flakes. The taste of the dulse was not overpowering and the salad was quite crunchy.
I packed this for lunch on a bed of baby spinach with lemon.
When I ate it the next day at work, one thing I noticed was that the flavour had really developed overnight. The texture wasn’t as crunchy, which I preferred.
I also had some nori sheets so had a go at making wraps at my desk… all got a bit messy!
While initially I wasn’t sure if I’d make this again, I’ve since eaten leftovers with the addition of chopped pickles. This was a good turn of events! The tang, sweet and sour really worked with the other flavours and textures. I’m sure this salad would make a great sandwich filling too.
So all up, I’d say this recipe is worthy of a flag… and a pickle on top.