Tuna orzo salad for a hot Sunday

Almost July, and all is well. It is a warm dry day here in Garbatella, and the streets are deserted and quiet. People have left for daytrips and weekends at the seaside: Ostia, Santa Marinella, Sabaudia, the Isole Pontine. Last night we were up on the condominium roof terrace watching Italy play Austria, and roars were echoing across the nightime sky for every close chance. (Yes, Italy won, which is a continued great morale booster.) There is optimism in the air.

All of Italy is in the white zone from tomorrow, which means the only rules that still have to be observed are to maintain a safe distance and avoid crowds. Wearing masks will be optional, which will be strange. We’ll see how it goes. Vaccination numbers are good so far, the roll-out has been impressive here. Now we are waiting for the digital EU COVID-19 vaccination passport to see if we might be able to travel home to safely see family after 18 months away. Lots of variables but we are crossing fingers, and are still being cautious. I hope things are better also on your side.

This was lunch today: an assembly of items for a summer lunch salad. Adjust amounts to what you have. It’s warm here (maybe 33C) but after four years of heat and humidity in Accra I have no complaints about Roman summers.

Tuna orzo salad with celery

  • 1.5 cup orzo perlato (pearl barley)
  • medium tin good tuna in oil
  • 4-5 stalks celery, chopped
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tbs good olive oil
  • 230 gr tinned cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 230 gr tinned borlotti beans (drained and rinsed)

Boil the pearl barley in salted water for 15 min or so, until cooked. Drain. In the interim, assemble other ingredients and toss. I used a little smoked Spanish olive oil as well, for some extra pizazz. Fresh parley would be nice here too. Chill and eat later, or just enjoy at room temperature.

A new mural In Garbatella was unveiled a couple weeks ago: this is Alberto Sordi, a famous and much-loved Italian actor. He lived just around the corner as a child.

4 thoughts on “Tuna orzo salad for a hot Sunday

  1. This salad is definitely an upgrade from the standard of my Minnesota childhood summers. Mom’s was made with oil-packed tuna, tiny O-ring or shell-shaped macaroni, celery, onions, canned baby peas, and mayonnaise. Great for a hot summer day in times of no air conditioning, in fact we probably ate it weekly. Brings back memories!

  2. Yes, we are also waiting to see if we will be given some sort of digital vaccine passport for travel. Now that they have opened for registering vaccines administered abroad in SYSVAK, I am contemplating getting that done so it’s registered at home in Norway that I have been vaccinated.

  3. Good luck with that! A friend is looking into the SYSVAK registration option, I am waiting to see how it will work with the Italian/EU one. Crossing fingers that you can get home too this summer.

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