Friday, 28 January 2011

Pantry Staples: White Bean Tuna Salad

Having a stocked pantry means the world to a home cook. When you come home late or tired, pantry staples can be key to getting a quick and nutritious meal on the table.

Tinned beans are so versatile, whether puréed into a quick dip or tossed into a soup or salad. They add quick fibre and nutrition to any meal.

Sure it's great to have the dried ones on hand, but for cooking on the fly - keep a few tins in stock as well.

This White Bean and Tuna Salad takes advantage of two pantry favourites - tinned white beans and tuna - and transforms them with the help of fresh produce and bold flavours. And it takes all of five minutes to make.

No more cold cereal for dinner because you are in a hurry, this salad fits into any schedule and is infinitely variable. Also makes for great lunch box fare. Cheers!

White Bean Tuna Salad
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis,
for IHCC January Potluck


    * 2 (6-ounce) cans dark meat tuna, packed in olive oil
    * 2 (15-ounce) cans cannelini white beans, drained and rinsed
    * 1/3 cup small capers, nonpareil in brine, drained and rinsed
    * 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    * Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
    * 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
    * 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
    * 2 cups fresh arugula (or any other baby greens)
    * 6 fresh basil leaves (optional)


In a large bowl, add the tuna, reserving the olive oil in a separate small bowl. Break tuna into bite-size pieces with a large fork. Add the beans and capers. Into the bowl of olive oil, add the red wine vinegar. You should have 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil - add more extra-virgin olive oil if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing on the tuna, bean and caper mixture and allow the flavors to infuse while slicing the vegetables. Add the onion and tomatoes to tuna mixture and toss gently.

Place the arugula on large decorative platter and top with tuna mixture. Tear fresh basil leaves over the top and serve immediately.