Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tuna & cannellini bean salad

This is a fairly simple and inexpensive salad to make. It makes a great light dinner or lunch that is perfect for the summer. Start by cutting red onion in half and then slicing very thin half rounds. You will need a little more than 1/4 of an average sized onion. Place the onions in a bowl of cold water. As you are preparing the rest of the dish, go back to the onions every 10 minutes or so, squeeze them, and replace the water.

Next, prepare a vinaigrette. Add some olive oil, red wine or balsamic vinegar, a spoon full of dijon mustard, one minced clove of garlic, and some oregano to a bowl and whisk together to make an emulsion. I think a more acidic dressing is good for this salad, so make the ratio of oil to vinegar about 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 depending on your taste.

Drain and rinse two cans of cannellini beans, add to a large bowl, and toss with about half of the vinaigrette. Next, cut a Belgian endive in half, quarter a small head of radichio, and drizzle with olive oil. Sear for about 1 min at med-high on a grill pan (a normal pan will work fine). While the lettuces are cooking, cover a tuna steak with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Sear at high heat once the lettuces are done for about 1-1.5 minutes on each side. I use frozen tuna steaks for this, which you can get at some grocery stores (like Trader Joe's or Market Basket) for about $5/lb. Once the tuna is done, let it rest while you slice up the lettuces crosswise. Add the endive, radicchio, and onions to the bowl with the beans. Chop up the tuna steak into small pieces and add this as well. Toss everything together and add more of the vinaigrette. Finish the dish off with chopped parsley and crumbled feta (if you happen to have it lying around).

This whole dish should only take about 20-30 min from start to finish.

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