Tuesday, February 1, 2011

White Bean and Tuna Salad

Lunches can be tough. Sandwiches are predictable, soup requires forethought (and a leak-proof container if you schlep it to work), and pre-made frozen entrees are just . . . well, just no.

Salads, on the other hand, are interesting. First of all, the definition of "salad" is so broad, so wide-open to interpretation, that you can take it anywhere you feel like going. Not in the mood for lettuce? No problem. Who says salad has to have lettuce in it? Not Webster's, which 'fesses that salad is "small pieces of food (as pasta, meat, fruit, or vegetables) usually mixed with a dressing." Works for me.

And what could be easier? Basically, the formula for salad is just chop some foods you like into bite-size pieces, throw them into a bowl, toss them with some sort of complementary dressing, and eat. Lunch! Or dinner. Or breakfast ~ why not?

This particular salad is one of my all-time favorites. It requires no cooking, is good year-round, is loaded with protein and good, healthy fats, and it's pretty ~ which means you can serve it for lunch guests. I like it with a vivacious little white wine, vinho verde being my particular pour of choice.
White Bean and Tuna Salad
Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can good-quality cannellini or small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon nonpareil capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna packed in olive oil, drained (can use water-packed) 
  • Torn lettuce leaves (romaine, Bibb, or butter) for serving, optional
Whisk together oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add beans, onion, capers, parsley, lemon zest, and tomatoes and toss gently to combine. Lightly toss in tuna. Serve at room temperature or chill for 30 minutes. Serve on a bed of torn greens.

Recipe Notes:
  • If using water-packed tuna, add an additional drizzle of olive oil if desired.
  • Tuna packed in olive oil has a rich, delicious flavor. It's especially good in recipes where the tuna isn't mixed with mayonnaise. If you like a more assertive flavor, you can omit the olive oil from the dressing and add the tuna without draining.

3 comments:

  1. I want this for lunch! Ah who am I kidding I want this right now...looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a pretty salad and a delicious one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm always looking for good lunches for my husband to take to work. He loves this kind of thing and it's healthy and filling.

    ReplyDelete

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