Saturday, August 9, 2008

Warm Tuna and Pasta Salad

Canned tuna is versatile, and adapts to many different styles of cooking. Serve this easy tuna dish with a mixed green salad for an interesting contrast. Recipe serves 4.


8 ounces (250 g) pasta shells
2 teaspoons oil
6 ounce (180 g) can tuna chunks in brine, well drained
6 1/2 ounces (200 g) green beans, cooked
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips
8 black olives
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered


1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add half the oil and the pasta shells. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain the cooked pasta. Place in a serving dish, and toss with the rest of the oil.
2. Mix in the tuna, beans, pepper and olives, and season with black pepper.
3. Arrange the eggs on top of the salad. Serve while the pasta is still warm.

Variation: Substitute well-drained salmon for the tuna.

Greek-Style Mushrooms

Fresh mushrooms are a good source of B-group vitamins. Look for wild (or field) mushrooms, they have better flavor than the cultivated variety. This simple vegetable side dish is particularly tasty if it is made the day before serving. Recipe serves 4 to 6.


8 ounces (250 g) fresh mushrooms
1 pound (500 g) fresh tomatoes, peeled
1 chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 glass of dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme


1. Wipe the mushrooms clean, or wash them if they are sandy. Cut them into quarters or if they are the field variety, 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
2. Stew the tomatoes in olive oil with the chopped onion, wine, lemon juice, and tomato concentrate. Reduce to a thick sauce. Add mushrooms, bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Simmer until mushrooms are cooked (about 15 minutes). Refrigerate. Serve chilled.

Naan Bread

My favorite Indian leavened bread which may be made yeast-free with this simple recipe from Singapore, center of some of the world's finest Indian food. It is a perfect accompaniment to Indian curries. Recipe makes 6.


2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour - preferably strong bread flour
1/3 cup low-fat natural yogurt
2 tablespoons light olive oil
Sprinkle of salt
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon baking powder


1. Sift flour into mixing bowl. Add baking powder, salt and stir in beaten egg, yogurt and 1 tablespoon oil. Mix well.
2. Turn onto clean, floured work surface and knead. If the mixture is too sloppy, add more flour. If it is too crumbly, add a little water. Knead for at least 5 minutes.
3. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm, draught-free place for between 2 and 3 hours.
4. Knead again for a couple of minutes adding more flour if it sticks. Divide into six pieces and roll each piece into a 10 inch (25 cm) long oval.
5. Heat a heavy frying pan smeared with oil. Cook the naan one at a time: Put a piece in pan, dab down on bread with clean, damp tea towel. After a few minutes the underside should be browning and the bread should have puffed up a little. Turn over and repeat process.
6. When cooked, put in warm oven. Serve warm.