Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Tuna & Bean Salad

Sorry no pic tonight. This is one of my favorite make-aheads - if you've stocked your pantry, even minimally, you have the makings of a make-ahead meal. It's basically a tuna salad with beans and an oil and vinegar (or citrus) dressing. So this is going be more of a "method" than a recipe.

Tuna and Bean Salad

To serve 4:
  • 2 cans tuna - you can use oil or water packed, solid or chunk. This week I used 1 can each of tuna in olive oil and solid white tuna in water.
  • 1 can beans - I like cannellini or navy or another "white" bean. This is more an aesthetic choice than anything else - you could use pintos or kidneys or whatever you have. Chickpeas are nice too. Drain them and rinse them off if they are covered with too much bean can gunk (you'll know the gunk if and when you see it)
  • 2 Tablespoons-ish of something pickled and salty - I use capers, or chopped black or green olives or giardinera or pickled brussels sprouts, etc. etc. etc.
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetable - crunchy is best. I use fresh red pepper, celery, carrot, blanched green beans, chopped radicchio. Think about color and texture when you select your vegetables. This salad should look interesting.
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup dressing - I make this with olive oil and vinegar and/or lemon and/or orange juice. (Orange juice, sherry vinegar and olive oil is nice in a salad with tuna, chopped fennel, oil cured black olives and navy beans.
  • handful of parsley and/or other herbs (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste - you may need less salt than you think because of the pickled item and the canned beans.

Toss all these items together, breaking up the tuna into bite-sized pieces as needed. Correct the seasoning - you will probably not need a lot of salt, but you may need more vinegar or citrus than you think. This salad is best when it's made ahead by at least a few hours. I make it on Sunday and have eaten it as late as Wednesday night with no discernable loss of taste or texture.

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