Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuna, White Bean and Red Onion Salad

This simple, light, nutritious salad is ridiculously easy to put together but still immensely popular and flavorful. You can grill your own tuna or soak your own beans, and that would undoubtedly make for a lovely dish.

But it's hot out, and you want something quick to throw together ... open a couple of cans, chop and stir just a tad, and enjoy your fabulous salad.

I use tuna packed in water rather than in oil, because there's already oil in the dressing and no one really needs the extra fat; while Saveur actually claims that this makes the salad taste "insipid," I would argue that this is not the case at all! The lighter tuna lets all of the ingredients' flavors shine through; and if you have good ingredients and a vibrant dressing, some extra grease simply isn't necessary.

Now, of course, my friends know that I'm quite the aficionada of Italian, which is so beautiful that it can even make a bean salad sound elegant! Here is this dish's name in its native tongue: Insalata del Fagiolo e del Tonno [in-sah-LAH-tah del fah-JOHL-oh eh del TOH-noh], which is infinitely preferable to "Tuna, White Bean and Red Onion Salad"! Already, with this simple translation, we've elevated our meal to something sophisticated and luscious, haven't we?

This is a great dish for any summer day, and especially for picnics because it travels very well without any concerns about spoilage or wilting. Enjoy!

Tuna, White Bean and Red Onion Salad

1 6-ounce can solid white tuna in water, drained
1 15-ounce can cannellini, drained, rinsed
6 purple scallions, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper

Combine tuna, cannellini and scallions in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt, and peppers; pour over salad, and stir to coat. Cover and let rest for 1 hour or more, for flavors to blend.

Serves 2 as a light lunch with good bread and perhaps a green salad.


Jenn said...

Grilling my own tuna and soaking my own beans sounds like a lot of work.. I think I'll stick to your way :) It sounds wonderful for a week night meal when there isn't much time to spend in the kitchen!

Candace said...

What a wonderfully light meal! It's absolutely perfect for this week too. We are having Louisiana temps and humidity without the benefit of the lovely air conditioning that we had down there. Not a good week for cooking that's for sure! Hope you are able to stay cool over there. This will definitely be on our menu this week. Thank you!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

there's just sometimes when opening a few cans is necessary!! When its over 90F is one of those times. This sounds like a great light dinner or lunch Mary. And I agree, tuna in water is just fine, thanks :)

Miriam said...

How fun, that we both posted about an easy meal with white beans today :), it looks great! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Anonymous said...

As a tuna lover this sure looks appealing, especially since it's such a simple recipe. It's easy to see that once the flavors combine you'd want to eat it again and again. Some for lunch, a little for dinner, a few forks for an evening snack. I'm glad you've got a handle on the Italian translation; I'd never get the words out of my mouth.

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

all of my favorite ingredients in one meal!


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