I remembered this recipe the other day when I was going through my kitchen trying to find inspiration for what to have for dinner. I was not very hungry but I still wanted to eat something, preferably not too ordinary. Then I found a pack of lentils that made me remember the first time I had lentils and tuna salad.
It happened years ago when I visited my friends in Sutivan on the island of Brač in the Croatian Adriatic. I had just finished a weekend of sailing with my clients and got a week off. As I left the yacht and embarked the ferry from Split to Brač I realized that my stomach needs some food. All I wanted at the end of that exhausting and extremely hot week was to get to Sutivan and let go of everything.
My friends welcomed me with lentils and tuna salad. I felt a little bit disappointed because I expected a feast. This salad did not seem attractive at all. It is not polite to nag about a dinner when you are a guest, though, so I accepted what was offered with gratitude. After I tried this simple and almost forgotten traditional food, however, my mood instantly changed. Although it is a salad, this meal is very plentiful and delicious. Not only did it restore my energy, but it also refreshed me, as it was served cold.
What happened later that evening is irrelevant for this post so I would like to share with you this simple recipe which could be an excellent idea for a summer lunch or dinner on your sailing holidays.
All ingredients necessary for lentils and tuna salad are available at any supermarket on the Croatian coast and islands. The lentils have to be cooked in boiling and salted water. The amount depends on the number of hungry mouths. When lentils are cooked, flavor them with olive oil, black pepper and some vinegar. Canned tuna fish is perfect for this salad but make sure you got rid of the redundant oil from the can. The extra taste of this salad comes from finely sliced onions and a pinch of pickled capers.
An extended recipe includes marinated or salted anchovies and/or black olives and/or goat cheese also known as Italian caprese. You won’t fail if you add some fresh basil or dried oregano, but do not add too much so that the taste of herbs does not kill other tastes and scents. As I have mentioned before, this salad is both refreshing and plentiful. A glass of thick dry Dalmatian red wine would complete the experience, but is not necessary. As I write these verses I have remembered a few other traditional recipes with lentil, but let me share them with you some other time.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!