I've taken a bit of a break from Here, Taste This the last six weeks, mostly because summer always seems to begin with a mad boil in June and doesn't settle down to a slow simmer until August. (Did you see what I did there?) It is not, most assuredly, because I haven't been cooking or have nothing to say about food. Because summer cooking is the good stuff, my friends. The best. It's simple and savory and the produce is so fresh, I practically waltz in my kitchen with each fragrant peach and plump tomato before I hack them to bits and eat them at the counter, juice dripping down my chin.
Today, I have to share with you my new favorite summer salad. We've eaten a lot of take-it-with-you food lately, because Connor had two baseball games a week in June and July, and games are always right at dinner time. So we would pack a picnic to eat next to the dug out, and pray an errant foul ball didn't head our direction while dug in. (You see what I did there.)
This salad features fresh green beans which are easy to pick up at your neighborhood farmer's market. The other ingredients come from your pantry, which makes it especially simple. I serve it with wedges of fresh melon (cantaloupe is my favorite) and maybe some whole-wheat blueberry muffins. And save some leftovers for lunch the next day. This salad keeps, which makes it a keeper. (You see what I did ... never mind.)
Green and White Bean Tuna Salad
adapted from Everyday Food
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, sometimes called white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 can (5-6 ounces) solid white tuna, drained and broken up
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a roiling boil. Cook the green beans in the water until bright green, tender but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove beans and rinse them or submerge them into cold water to stop the cooking process. Lay them flat on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to dry.
2. In a large bowl (feel free to use the bowl you want to serve the salad in), whisk together the white wine vinegar and olive oil to make a dressing. Season well with salt and pepper. (I like to use kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, because they are easier to see.)
3. Add the dry green beans, cannelloni beans, onion and tuna and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
1. I know I touted farmer's market green beans for this salad, but honestly, I just as often use the packages of haricot vert you find in Costco's refrigerated section (or, as my kids say, "the cold room"). Bonus: They are so thin, they take even less time to cook, and they are so delicate, I don't need to cut them into 1-inch pieces. We just fold them over with our fork to get them in our mouth. (Or slurp them in if no one's looking.) (Keeping it real, folks. Keeping it real.)
1. The original version of this recipe calls for the addition of thinly sliced pepperoncini, which I never have on hand, so I've never added them. But if you want to kick it up a notch, it's a good suggestion.