April 5, 2012

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Salad made with tuna, cannellini beans, and greens.

Spring has been early in Western North Carolina and summer approaches. Time to start thinking of whole-meal salads that do not require cooking.

Recently I composed this salad and thought it would be a good inspiration for the hot days of summer. The most important ingredients in the salad are tuna and white beans. I opened a can of Cannellini beans as well as a can of tuna in olive oil. Poached tuna is best preserved in olive oil; water dilutes the flavor of the fish and adds nothing nutritionally. After draining, the beans and tuna were laid onto a bed of baby Romaine lettuces. Additional salad ingredients included a thinly sliced carrot, a peeled and sliced cucumber, sliced scallions (white part only), and diced red bell pepper.

For dressing I could have used an Italian dressing with a bit of lemon juice added to give it some fresh flavor. Instead I made a simple vinaigrette using six parts lemon fused olive oil, one part traditional balsamic vinegar, and one part white wine vinegar to make a 3:1 vinaigrette. Had I used only white wine vinegar it might have been a bit too tart at that ratio, but the balsamic sweetened the dressing somewhat, producing just the right level of acidity. To complete the vinaigrette, I tossed in some dried herbs (an Italian blend), some shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, a pinch of Murray River Pink Salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

This made an excellent dinner for two; more people or larger appetites might require additional cans of tuna and beans. A glass of wine and al fresco dining completed this quick and easy meal.


  1. Looks quick, simple and delicious :) Great choice of white beans!

  2. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)April 14, 2012 at 6:42 AM

    This sounds so good!  I was just in NY and went to a cool shop called The Filling Station, where you can get numerous kinds of infused olive oils, salts, and balsamic vinegars.  I was in heaven!!!  I bought a coconut balsamic vinegar that blew my mind!  Can't wait to try it.  Wish I would have bought lemon infused oil, but I am sure I can make my own ...

  3. You can certainly make an infused oil, but both lemon and blood orange olive oils are fused, which means the fruit and olives go through the press at the same time.