Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad (Or, A Watched Pot of Beans Never Cooks)

As it turns out, in my case, an unattended pot of beans never cooks either.

I’ve had this bag of dried cannellini beans sitting in my pantry for a while.  The problem is that usually I’m resorting to eating beans when I’m looking for an easy, last-minute dinner, so I turn to canned, instant-gratification beans (to whatever extent beans offer you gratification….)

But the other week I was planning ahead!  I was going to make a tuna and white bean salad for lunch, so the night before I dumped a bunch of beans in a pot of water, and let them sit overnight, as the bag instructed.

The next morning?  Still totally crunchy.  That night?  Same thing.  Several days later, when there was still no change, I tossed them in the trash and decided to use a method of expediting the process by bringing a pot of water to a boil and letting the beans simmer.  Over an hour later, the beans were maybe a little softer, but I was not impressed by the progress and was also weirded out by the questionable burning smell coming from the pot.  So, those got trashed, too.

I have successfully made risotto.  I’ve prepared multi-course Christmas Eve dinners.  I don’t shy away from phyllo dough.  But soaking beans?  Fail.

So it looks like I’ll be sticking to canned beans….

Anyway, I love this recipe.  It’s easy, tasty, and healthy.  But it’s one of those things I eat and enjoy once, and then be finished with it for another month.  So I recommend cutting the recipe in half or sharing it with some friends.  Or maybe both.

This is another recipe from Giada De Laurentiis’ cookbook Everyday Italian.  As she notes, it’s a good use of pantry staples.

Red onion crop circles:

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad (based on recipe from Giada De Laurentiis)

Empty one 6-ounce can of tuna, packed in olive oil into a large bowl, with the oil from the can.  Gently stir in one 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, and 1/2 half of a red onion, thinly sliced.  Stir in 1/4 cup capers, some chopped olives (I used mixed Greek olives in chili oil), sliced fresh basil, and a handful of quartered cherry tomatoes.  Drizzle with 3 tbsp red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Served over mixed greens, this makes fabulous lunch.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad (Or, A Watched Pot of Beans Never Cooks)

  1. Pingback: Summer Salad with Lentils, Farro, and Israeli Couscous | Anything But Academia

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