I hate brunch and I am not afraid to admit it. I am Torontonian and I hate brunch. It seems like an oxymoron. This city loves brunch… loves to layer pulled pork, poached eggs, and hollandaise on big buttermilk biscuits; loves to sneak bacon into doughnuts, waffles, pancakes; loves to use poutine as a foundation to plonk another meal that would have been completely reasonable on its own. I want no part of it.
My ideal Sunday lunch is not a blend of two meals. It comes after breakfast and today I am eating it at home alone. I look through my fridge and cupboards and realize that today will be an exercize is creativity. This is what I’m working with…
I am going to make a warm potato and tuna salad bathed in olive oil, topped with fresh apple and cilantro and garnished with some horseradishy yogurt and lemon zest. I ate a version of this salad at a restaurant in Montreal I love called Lawrence. Walk in on a Saturday around noon and be presented with a menu completely void of brunch dishes. Lawrence serves small tapas style dishes with a couple of bigger options for the hungrier. Last time I went I shared chicken liver toasts, collard greens with goat curd and salad of smoked mackerel, apple, and cilantro in a citrusy, creamy dressing.
Here’s how to construct my version. I boil three red potatoes and reserve two of them for a meal I will eat later in the week. You know your potatoes are properly boiled when you can stick a small paring knife through with little force. While the potatoes are boiling cut up the cilantro and chop the scallions. Mix about a tablespoon of plain yogurt with about a teaspoon and of horseradish and set aside. If you don’t have yogurt, sour cream or cottage cheese work too. The horseradish can be replaced with Dijon or grainy mustard. Don’t cut the apples until the potatoes are nearly boiled to avoid browning. Cut them any which way you desire.
Once the potatoes are boiled cut them into quarters, place them on your plate and douse them in a good olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Top them with canned tuna. I like the Rio Mare tuna in oil. It’s a bit pricier than other tunas, but worth it. It is yellow fin which is a much higher quality tuna and it comes in smaller cans perfect for one. Next, sprinkle scallions, throw on the apple (I use half and eat the other half for dessert) and pile on a good handful of fresh cilantro. Crown your salad with a dollop the horseradishy yogurt and finally dust with lemon zest, fresh ground pepper and salt.
Make a big pot of tea, Put on the radio and sit by the window where you can watch the Sunday bustle.