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Cannellini bean, tuna and red onion salad

We had a terrific response to our last newsletter about salads and the hits keep coming! Reader and customer Tom Jones send us his version of the classic Italian salad. (You can sign up for our email newsletter by filling out the box to the left of this article)

Cannellini bean, tuna and red onion salad

Serves 6

For the beans

1 lb dried runner cannellini beans
3 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Leaves from several sprigs of thyme
Leaves from several sprigs or marjoram, chopped
Leaves from several sprigs of oregano, chopped
1 large sprig parsley, chopped
1 medium sized fresh sage leaf, chopped
1 “Turkish” bay leaf
Water for soaking
5 cups water (more, if needed) for cooking

Place beans in large pot and cover with water, making sure that there is enough water to keep beans covered when they swell (probably 2 quarts will do). Soak overnight

Drain beans and rinse both beans and pot

Heat 3 T olive oil in heavy bottomed kettle over medium heat

Add sliced garlic and sauté until garlic is fragrant

Add rinsed beans, 5 cups water, and all of the herbs

Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer, keeping kettle partially covered

Cook for 1 ¼ hour and then add 2 ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes longer

Check beans to see if they are done; if they are not, continue simmering until beans are done (they should not be at all chalky, but should still keep their shape)

When beans are done, remove pot from heat, remove the bay leaf and allow the beans to rest in their liquid for about 2 hours; adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed

When ready to make salad, drain the beans

Assembling the salad

2 - 6.7 oz jars of tuna* packed in olive oil, drained, and then coarsely chopped (or you can use a fork to separate into small chunks)
1 medium Walla Walla onion (other sweet onion will do), coarsely chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Aleppo pepper and finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Combine drained beans, tuna, onion, and olive oil and then season to taste with salt and pepper

Mound salad in large bowl or platter with edge and lightly sprinkle top with Aleppo pepper and chopped parsley to add color

* I use Tonnino yellow fin tuna Ventrusca in olive oil, available in 6.7 oz jars
olive oil, available in 6.7 oz jars

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