Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

March 1st, 2011

What are you cooking, he said?  “Just dinner”,  I said.  “It sure smells good”, he said.  “OK, but don’t get your hopes up, it’s  just a pantry meal”.  This was said by me with perfect assurance. And that was my premise when I planned this meal tonight.  It was so simple to open two cans of tuna and a can of cannellini beans.  The recipe from Sarah Foster looked very staightforward.  But after studying the recipe further, it was much more than those simple pantry items.

There was the 35 minutes required to roast plum tomatoes and red onions with fresh rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper until they were caramelized and soft.

There was the hour to roast a whole head of garlic with oil and rosemary until it was soft and oozing it’s sweet goodness.

There were the sun-dried tomatoes reconsituted in olive oil, lemons and vinegar and flavored with rosemary and parsley.

The aroma from the oven was heady, but still I cautioned restraint.  This, afterall was nothing special;  just a Tuesday night supper.

I was wrong.  It was wonderful.

TUSCAN TUNA AND WHITE BEAN SALAD WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 teapoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 15 1/2-ounce canenllini beans, rinsed and drained
2 6-ounce cans solid white tuna packed in water, drained
10 roasted garlic cloves ( See recipe below)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes (See recipe below)

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, and rosemary together in a small bowl.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes and let them marinate in the vinaigrette for 10 to 15 minutes to soften.  Place the beans, tuna, and garlic in a medium bowl.  Add the vinaigrette and sun-dried tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to mix.  Cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.  Serve at room temperature, with the Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes on top.

ROASTING GARLIC

1 head of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the top off the head of garlic with a serrated knife so that you can see the tips of the individual cloves.  Place the garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with the oil, and rub into all sides of the garlic to coat.  Wrap the head of garlic tightly in foil and place in the oven to roast for 50 to 60 minutes, until it is soft to the squeeze.

Unwrap the garlic and allow it to cool.  When the garlic is cool enough to touch, squeeze the soft garlic cloves out of their skins.  Use the oil that you roasted the garlic in to season whatever your’re using with the garlic.  The cloves will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.

BALSAMIC-ROASTED TOMATOES

6 plum tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, tghinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes and onion slices on a baking sheet with sides.  Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, sprinkle with the rosemary, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Spread the tomatoes and onion in a single layer with the tomatoes cut side down and roast for 30 to 35 minuts, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft and shriveled and the vinegar has caramelized on the bottom of the pan.

I added a small amount of lettuce to this salad and served the dish with baked pita wedges.

Printable recipe

Tuna and Hummus on Toasted Baguettes or What’s for Lunch?

December 6th, 2010

There is nothing fancy about this except maybe the presentation.  When you want something besides a plain tuna fish sandwich for lunch this is just the thing.  The recipe is in Ina Garten’s new cookbook How Easy is That?  I would give you the recipe but The Barefoot Bloggers have requested that we not publish the recipes from this book unless they have already been posted on the food network.  But how hard can this be?  You just toast sourdough bagettes, spread them with store bought hummus, or homemade if you have it, and top it with your favorite tuna salad mixture.  The radishes give it a festive touch.  I would recommend using a good quality tuna though.  I no longer buy water packed tuna, even though it may be saving a few calories.  Oil packed tuna has a much better flavor.

When we are in Florida we tend to have people who stop in for lunch, so I am always on the lookout for interesting luncheon dishes.  Here are a few other suggestions from previous posts.

This four layer salad has a real wow factor.  Guacamole, tomato salad, cucumber salad, and shrimp form a tower of goodness.  I think the next time I serve it, I will put it on a bed of greens.  You can find the recipe here.

Soup is always a good choice for lunch.  Escarole, white bean and sausage soup is one of my easy favorites.  It is great served with cornbread.  You can find the recipe here.

Instead of having quiche for lunch,  try this tasty black bean tart with easy chili crust.  A refreshing salad with avocado and orange slices would be the perfect side dish.  The recipe for the tart can be found here.

These are a few of my favorite lunches.  After being under the weather for a week, I am ready to tackle Christmas.

Barefoot Bloggers Challenge – Tuna Salad

May 14th, 2009

I would like to thank Kate of Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails for choosing the first Barefoot Blogger recipe of the month. I mean, I REALLY WANT TO THANK HER. I did not want to do this recipe. Tuna steak is not appealing to me. It is usually served red and rare and I just can’t go there. I thought maybe I would just go with a good quality canned tuna or substitute salmon. Besides I was sure my supermarket would not even have fresh tuna. So I confidently went to the market the other day and guess what! They had wild Sashimi grade tuna steaks ON SALE for $6.98 a pound. I grudgingly bought one steak for my husband’s lunch. He loves fish. I also found wasabi powder which was also called for in the recipe. Wasabi is a green horseradish grown only in Japan and the powder provides a chile -like kick with an herbal overtone according to my google search.

I did make a few adjustments to the recipe. The Barefoot Contessa cooks the tuna steaks for only 1 minute per side and that is just too rare for even my husband’s taste. So I cooked the steak for at least 3 minutes per side. I did not use the amount of salt it called for in the recipe because David is on a salt restricted diet. I was confused by the amount of lime juice specified in the recipe. It calls for 6 tablespoons ( 3 limes ). There is much more juice in 3 limes than 6 tablespoons. I made half of the recipe for the vinaigrette and used 1 lime. I also added 1 tablespoon of sugar to offset the tang of the lime.
The dish was simple to assemble and I tasted it before I called him away from his remodeling projects and it was good. Darn, I should have made more! It was excellent. “Oh yea of little faith”. I should have known that The Barefoot Contessa would not fail me. And that is why I thank Kate for forcing me to make a dish that I would have never attempted otherwise. I am glad I joined the Barefoot Bloggers for that very reason. Take some time to see what the other members are doing with this recipe. I am off the to the store to get more tuna while it is still on sale.

TUNA SALAD
Ingredients
2 pounds very fresh tuna steak, cut 1-inch thick
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
2 limes, zest grated
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
10 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1 to 2 ripe Hass avocados, medium diced
1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
1/4 cup red onion, small diced

Directions

Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tuna steaks in a very hot saute pan and cook for only 1 minute on each side. Set aside on a platter.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, wasabi, lime juice, soy sauce and hot sauce. Add the avocados to the vinaigrette.
Cut the tuna in chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the scallions and red onion and mix well. Pour the vinaigrette mixture over the tuna and carefully mix.

Meals to Make us Feel Better

March 18th, 2020

Tuna Tostadas 2

We are all aware that these are hard times.  Social sacrifices are necessary.  Everyone should be hunkering down at home to avoid getting, or spreading the Coronavirus.  Grocery stores are out of stock on many items. You can check these guys out if you want to start a strong grocery bsuiness. But meals don’t have to be boring.  That can of tuna in the pantry doesn’t have to be made into a tuna sandwich or a tuna casserole.  Why not make Tuna Tostadas?  It does require a can of pickled jalapeños and carrots, but I bet that is one item that will not be depleted on the grocery shelves.  The crunchy fried corn tortillas also gives this dish pizazz.

Pappardelle-with-Pine-Nuts-2VPappardelle with Pine Nuts, Prosciutto (or Bacon), and Brown Butter is another satisfying meal which relies on some pantry items and special items like Prosciutto and pine nuts.  Substitute bacon and slivered almonds if you like.

Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs

Margarita Glazed Chicken Thighs are a fun way to spark up mealtime.  Especially with a margarita on the side.  Keeping an upbeat attitude is good for us.

Garlic-Rosemary-Baguette-2v (1)

Baking bread is a rewarding pastime at any time.  But it is especially so when you are housebound.  The kneading, slow rising and aromatic baking is soothing to the soul.  This Rosemary-Garlic Baguette recipe is easy.  Make several and share with your neighbors.

Julia-Childs-Scalloped-Potatoes-3

Julia Child’s Scalloped Potatoes are a classic.  With simple ingredients you can transform the lowly potato into a gourmet treat.  Nobody does it better than Julia.  Also, if you haven’t read any of the books about Julia Child you can find them on Amazon.

Starry starry night chocolate cake is special to me.  It is an easy chocolate cake that reminds me of my artistic Mother. Go out and look at the stars. Stay kind to everyone. Be safe and healthy.

Mom's Black Bottom Cake

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