Lebanese Style Tuna Salad with Tahini Dressing
Serves 8 to 10
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
(If you don't like the taste of Tahini, which is true for many people, you can substitute Garbanzo Bean spread (hummus).
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with ½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1/3-cup olive oil
Four 6 ½ ounce cans tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked
2 pounds onions, sliced thin
1/3-cup vegetable oil
1/3-cup pine nuts
1 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leafed) parsley leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
6 to 8 pita loaves, quartered and opened into pockets
To make the dressing:
In a blender, blend together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic paste and the cayenne; with the motor running add the oil in a stream, blending until the dressing is emulsified, and season with salt.
To make the tuna salad:
In a bowl, toss the tuna lightly with half the dressing and mound the mixture on a large platter. In a large heavy skillet, cook the onions in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes, or until they are golden brown, then season them with salt and pepper.
With a fork, scatter the onions over the tuna. In the skillet, cook the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring until they are golden and scatter them over the onions.
Drizzle the salad with the remaining dressing, and sprinkle it with the chopped parsley. Garnish the salad with the parsley sprigs and serve it with the pita pockets.
Adapted from Gourmet 1990