Tuna with Bean & Tomato Salad

You’ll know the living is easy when you try this Tuna with Green Bean and Tomato Salad, served up with White Beans for a little extra protein and substance.This is the answer for those who think Nicoise looks good, but might be afraid their picky eaters would turn up their noses. There’s nothing unfamiliar here, but the bright, lemony dressing transforms these simple ingredients.

Tuna with Beans & Tomatoes
Tuna with Beans & Tomatoes

I used the more expensive “pouch” tuna here; a cheaper canned tuna just wouldn’t be as pretty. The original recipe called for a medium rare Olive Oil poached Tuna fillet, so if your budget allows for it, more power to you.

Salmon would also make a wonderful substitution. Instructions below – but fair warning – on a hot summer day I’d rather open a pouch than poach.

Tuna with Beans & Tomatoes
Tuna with Beans & Tomatoes

This salad is excellent chilled or at room temperature. You couldn’t go wrong adding a loaf of “Crusty Bread” to this or a few Kalamata olives.

Don’t be afraid of the bit of anchovy in the dressing; it adds a wonderful subtle “something” but doesn’t taste of fish. If no anchovy is on hand, a few drops of fish sauce would be a wonderful enhancement.

Tuna with Beans & Tomatoes
Tuna with Beans & Tomatoes

Tuna with Bean & Tomato

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 15 ounce can of any white bean, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound green and/or wax beans
  • 1 pouch 6.5 ounces of white or albacore tuna
  • 1 cup small tomatoes, halved, or diced large tomato

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 anchovies, packed in oil, finely chopped or about 3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped dill, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped (may substitute shallot)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (about a half lemon of a large lemon – use the other half for serving)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring about 3/4″ of salted water to a boil in a skillet.  Add green beans, cover and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes until tender, but still slightly crisp.  Drain and plunge into ice water to preserve color and texture.  Drain well when cooled.

Make Vinaigrette:  Place olive oil in the skillet and warm through with the garlic and rosemary.  Pour into a small bowl.  Cool to room temperature.  Remove Rosemary from olive oil, whisk in the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients.  (You could simply omit the step of heating the garlic and the Rosemary with the Olive oil and add fresh garlic and chopped Rosemary to the Vinaigrette; I think the barely cooked garlic has a nice mellow taste.)

Add green beans back to the skillet, toss with about 2 tablespoons or so of the vinaigrette and toss.  Arrange on a platter.  Add the tomatoes to the remaining vinaigrette in the skillet, toss and place next to beans on platter.  Add the white beans to the skillet and toss, arrange on platter.  If more vinaigrette is needed to coat the vegetables and beans, add a little more.

Add tuna to platter, remaining lemon, sliced, garnish with additional rosemary and serve with the remaining vinaigrette.

By the way, if you have any leftover white beans, warm them up with a touch of milk or cream, mash them slightly and serve with toasted bread.

Poached Tuna: 

If you’d like to buy tuna fillets or steaks and poach, I’m sure this would be excellent.  Instead of using Olive oil for the vinaigrette, you’ll reserve 1/4 cup of your poaching oil, which will have the garlic and rosemary already in it when you’re done.  The rosemary flavored oil will be stronger, so you can omit the additional rosemary in the Vinaigrette.

Bring 3 cups of olive oil, rosemary and garlic to 160 degrees over medium low heat.  Salt and pepper one  inch tuna steaks.  Cook for four minutes per side until just pink in center.  May be made one day in advance:  Cool tuna and oil separately; store tuna covered in oil in fridge.  Bring tuna back to room temperature.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • Vary this by using Salmon instead of tuna – it would be wonderful.
  • Try any other of your favorite vegetables – the vinaigrette is wonderful and would complement almost anything you’d like to pair it with.
  • Try a little dill with the rosemary.

Tuna Safety

How much and what kind of Tuna is safe to eat? Check out this handy calculator by Colin Dunn of Planet Green. Hint: light tuna has much lower levels of mercury than Albacore.

Note about pricing, value and healthy eating:   I think I may be way behind on lecturing on this blog…while I’m not all that “up” on fast food prices, I gotta tell ya, everytime I make a post, all I can think about is my son and his young friends who buy fast food because it’s “cheap.”  By my estimation, one of these is about the same price as many of my meals for 4, 6 or 8!  And it seems they rarely taste or look how you’d think they should:

bigmac

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