RECIPE

White Bean Salad with Preserved Tuna and Parsley Vinaigrette

I love bean salads with parsley. Parsley vinaigrette makes this simple salad of marinated white beans and tuna come to life. Crisp, tasty and light, the salad makes a wonderful lunch salad or a small tapas sharing dish.

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, divided
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup preserved tuna or good-quality canned tuna
  • 1 head radicchio, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the parsley vinaigrette:

  • A handful of fresh parsley leaves and stems
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Arbequina or other good-quality olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Combine the beans, carrot, 1 celery stalk, the onion and bay leaves in a pressure cooker. Add 4 cups water, close, and heat over high heat until it starts to whistle. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, until the beans are tender. Alternatively, cook in a covered heavy-bottomed pot for 2 hours over medium-low heat. Once the beans are tender and cooked through, drain and discard the veggies. Set the beans aside to cool.

Thinly slice the remaining stalk of celery on the bias. Flake the tuna into a bowl and combine with the celery, beans, and radicchio. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the parsley vinaigrette (recipe follows). This salad can be eaten right way, but the flavor is even better if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

For the parsley vinaigrette: A parsley vinaigrette is a terrifically versatile thing, perfect with all sorts of salads, like potato salad and bean salad. But I also use it to spark up a sautéed piece of fish or grilled meat and vegetables. All hail Lady Parsley.

Combine the parsley, garlic, lemon juice and vinegar in a Vitamix or blender. Process until smooth and bright green; remove to a bowl and whisk in the olive oil. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

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