What’s Cooking Wednesday: Tuna and Bean Salad

Continuing with the refreshing summer theme from last week, this week’s What’s Cooking Wednesday is a tuna and bean salad.

It’s light but filling, healthy but still tasty, and slimy yet satisfying. Always wanted to use that in context. Lion King fans? Anyone?

Oh, and there’s no cooking involved at all, so it’s pretty darn fast as well.

Tuna and Bean Salad
(Tonno e fagioli)

2 cans cannellini beans
2 cans tuna fish
1 small onion cut into chunks
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste
chopped parsley

Pour the beans into a strainer, rinse, drain well, and put in your serving bowl or platter.

Add tuna and onion in large chunks over the beans.

If you want, make the dressing in a separate bowl, but I just add everything all together in the same dish. That’s olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Toss well (and carefully so as not to break too many beans) before serving, and be sure to taste test first for anything missing.

I add another squeeze of lemon just before serving as well.

Ah, and I should warn you that I won’t be around the rest of the week due to a work conference, so while I’m gone, you have some homework: (1) Be sure to check out the full list of What’s Cooking Wednesday participants over at Shannon’s place;

(2) Have a lookee at Sara’s (Ms Adventures in Italy) Parmeggiano Reggiano Stuffed Onions Wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma;

(3) Explore The Left Over Queen’s Foodie BlogRoll over on my sidebar; and

(4) Report back here and tell me what other kinds of recipes you’d like to see around here, especially any specific ingredients you’re looking to incorporate.

Buon appetito!

41 Beans of Wisdom to “What’s Cooking Wednesday: Tuna and Bean Salad”
  1. Bryan and Autumn

    When my italian ex and I were first married and living in the states we had no money.
    He was and still isn’t a cook but he knew how to grill a steak and make the bean and tuna thing.
    He called it peasant food, but it was tasty enough and it worked for our budget…LOL

  2. sognatrice

    Autumn, you’re right! I forgot to add it’s cheap too! Sorry if I brought up any bad memories (although memories of steak are usually good, right?).

  3. Ms Adventures in Italy

    Work conference?? For the school or other? have fun.

    I want to see some usage of those famous Calabrian pepperoncini!!

  4. Bryan and Autumn

    LOL, actually the beans and tuna bring up good memories because I was ‘so in love’ with my ex at that time.
    I would like to think our romantic early days were fueled by this dish… (if ya know what I mean!)hehe.

  5. sognatrice

    Ms A, the conference (on immigrant health care) is part of my translating gig with the local ASL. It’s part of an EU project, so there will be other nations/languages represented. Thankfully I don’t have to translate/interpret during the conference itself though–I’ll be there more for social interpreting purposes (phew!).

    As for the peperoncini, we throw them in just about everything, but I’ll work on a little something where they’re featured since you asked 😉

    Autumn, hah! In that case, the phrase “slimy yet satisfying” takes on a whole different meaning 😉

  6. J.Doe

    I love tonno and fagioli, we eat it in our household often without the tonno too.

  7. Sara

    Yummy! I never thought of putting tuna with canned beans, but why not? Sounds delicious, especially with lemon.

  8. Figs, Olives, Wine

    oooooo. Ingredients we want to see used? oooooo. I can’t work out which region of Italy you’re in. Is it Calabria?
    PS. This salad looks delish and refreshing. I’m already overheating and it’s only 9:30 in NYC. I shall brave the elements to pick up some tuna.

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  19. Giulia

    Great simple dish. We eat it often too.
    “I would like to think our romantic early days were fueled by this dish… (if ya know what I mean!)”

    That’s funny, because when I eat beans, I make my husband stay away! LMAO

  20. sognatrice

    JDoe, yes this is definitely good without the tuna too–good point!

    Sara, it’s simple and delicious, or as Autumn said, peasant food. You should try it!

    Figs, yes, I’m in Calabria. I think this salad might be more of a Tuscan thing, but I could be wrong. We have tuna, beans, lemons, and olive oil everywhere, so I’m not sure if one part of Italy can really claim it 😉

    Mustafa, te?ekkür ederim, I think 😉

    Giulia, to each their own, eh?

  21. AnnaLiza

    oo, that looks delicious.

    thanks for the translation to that phrase on the other site!

  22. Figs, Olives, Wine

    I’ve never been to Calabria! I’m so jealous. I’d love to hear what they do with artichokes or eggplants! And there’s lots of citrus too, right?

  23. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    I am a fan of this dish! So simple and I always have tuna and beans in my pantry.

    I would love to see pasta recipes or something with sardines or anchovies. Anchovies are a new obession. Another than a puttanesca dish not sure when to use them.


  24. Louise

    OH looks GOOD!!! my kids love tuna so I’ll give that one a try!

  25. a far away friend

    This looks really good and refreshing. I tuna salad and tuna noodle casserole are usually my extent with tuna meals. I think you officially inspired me to be a little more risky! Thanks

  26. sognatrice

    Annaliza, no problem on the translation–for anyone else who’s wondering, I believe Mustafa’s comment said I have a beautiful site. Or maybe that I should shower. But it’s still nice of him to stop by, right?

    Figs, I’ve done a recipe with artichokes and eggs that you can find in the archives, but I don’t think I’ve done eggplant yet…and they’re coming into season 😉 And yes, definitely lots of citrus.

    NYC, anchovies! Yes! Good one!

    Louise, if your kids like beans, this is a nice recipe. Easy as all get out, and with the lemon, I just love the zing.

    Far away friend, don’t forget that there also a lovely tuna pasta sauce recipe in my archives somewhere–one of our other staples around here 😉

  27. Britt-Arnhild

    I am not much of a tuna fan, but this looks delicious.

  28. Gil

    Canned tuna? I figured that you might of hooked one in that beautiful sea you always photograph!! Recipe sounds yummy.

  29. Shan

    Look great, as always.

    And yes, as shocking as it may seem, we’re BIG Lion King fans here.

  30. Anonymous

    I’d love to have a go at P’s mother’s (or grandmother’s) recipe (or yours!) for chicken cacciatore….my favorite childhood dish.

    Have a good week!

    Ciao, ciao,

  31. My Melange

    Signatrice…Believe it or not, I make this dish all the time. And with the exact same ingredients. I really love it…and it is so simple. Thanks for sharing!

  32. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    YUM YUM! This looks so good!

  33. jennifer

    Slimy yet satisfying… My kids overdosed on Lion King, and used to say that all the time! Mostly about my cooking…

  34. Sukanya Ramkumar

    Hi First time to ur blog…. I found you through the Foodie Blogroll. U have a great blog.. Ur tuna and bean salad looks YUM!..

  35. Karen Beth

    This looks delicious! I’m not sure that I have any cannellini beans here but as soon as I’m able to get some, I’m going to try this. Slimy yet satisfying… I’m game! Thanks!

  36. Mimi Lenox

    We don’t have a peace globe from Italy. Would you like to represent for us?

    An invitation from Mimi…….To: Saturday Photo Hunters
    Many bloggers will be flying Peace Globes in the blogosphere on Wednesday, June 6, 2007. It is BlogBlast for Peace day – the second annual event. Please consider using your blog voice and creative influence on this day to participate. The theme for June 2 is ART – perfect for creativity with a peace globe perhaps? You can find more information about the movement at Mimi Writes or BlogBlast for Peace. I wanted to make you aware of the event. I really enjoy looking at your photographs on Saturdays.
    http://mimiwrites.blogspot.com or http://mimilenox.blogspot.com
    Thanks and peace!

  37. Vanessa

    jeez that’s a lot of homework, teach!!!
    but fun too 🙂
    have a great conference!
    and, um, shouldn’t you have mentioned something about the side-effects of eating all those beans?? 😛

  38. sognatrice

    B-A, remember you can do this without the tuna even, so there’s another option.

    Gil, no fresh tuna on a daily basis I’m afraid. P’s more the fisher-person anyway 😉

    Shan, I love the Lion King and I never really had an excuse–other than being a child at heart, of course.

    Wunsch-d, would you believe that as far as I know, P’s mom doesn’t make it? My grandmother didn’t either, so actually I don’t think I ever have. That won’t stop me though! Good suggestion 🙂

    My Melange, isn’t it wonderful? I love when something is so easy and tasty.

    Jenn, great for a summer party too!

    Jennifer, obviously I overdosed too since I probably use lines from that movie at least once a week.

    Sukanya, welcome! Isn’t the Foodie BlogRoll the best? Thanks Jenn 🙂

    Karen Beth, I would’ve never believed that cannellini beans would become a staple in cupboard, but they have. They’re definitely good to have around in a pinch.

    Mimi, interesting, although I don’t participate in any photo projects; anyway, I will check our your site. And yes, everyone else, I realize that was just a form comment, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t respond, right?

    Vanessa, I think the beans, um, speak for themselves 😉

  39. Elle

    I likey!

    It’s so simple even I could attempt to make this one!

    (Cannellini are fabulously versatile, I put them in my curries these days)

  40. sognatrice

    Elle, easy peasey, yes? Geez, how do spell that anyway?!

  1. [...] subsisted on simple salads, other quick pasta dishes, and some cold meats and cheeses and fresh [...]... bleedingespresso.com/2007/06/whats-cooking-wednesday-coffee-granita.html
Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



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