I have a little game I play with myself called “How Long Can I Wait Before I Go to the Supermarket?” Sure, I pop into the little local health food store every few days and hit the farmers’ market once a week. But the sprawling grocery store? I try to go as little as possible, which unfortunately, is still way too often.
You see, when I lived in New York City, there weren’t many massive suburban-style supermarkets. A year after leaving the city, I’m still adjusting to the doublewide aisles and the overwhelming selection of junk food.
Earlier this week, I scanned my crisper drawers, empty except for apples reserved for my daughter’s lunches and a few leftover stalks of celery. (Why, oh why, is there always left over celery?)
Since I had used up the last of the bread that morning, I thought, this is it. I’ll be heading to the Giant before dinner. But first, I did a quick inventory of the cabinets and found a lazy cook’s treasure: A can of chickpeas and a can of tuna.
Heidi Swanson once wrote a post about being nice to your future self and this was an example of my past self helping me out. She knew this moment would soon come.
At lunch time, I quickly popped open the chickpeas and tuna and drained them, then transferred to a mixing bowl. I added three stalks of sliced celery and (another score!) five sliced radishes. I tossed that together with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil along with generous pinches of salt and pepper. I also added a little caraway seed in honor of Heidi, because it felt like something she might do.
Finally, I tore a few salvageable leaves off an otherwise rotting bunch of cilantro.
If I had had a shallot or a scallion lying about, I would have diced it and tossed it in, too. Oh well. Who knew I’d ever be so grateful for leftover celery?
- 1 small shallot (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- One 25-ounce can of chickpeas
- One 5-ounce can of tuna
- 3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
- 5 red radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of caraway seeds (optional)
- Torn cilantro or parsley leaves (optional)
- If you're using a shallot, combine it with the lemon juice and let stand 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, tuna, celery, radishes, and olive oil and toss. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the caraway and herbs, if using. Serve.