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Colu Henry's Chicories with Tuna, Beans, and Old-School Italian Dressing

Bean and tuna salad in a serving bowl

Here is a colorful, hearty salad from cookbook author and food writer Colu Henry. She says, "I love this salad! It features the classic Italian combination of creamy white beans and oil-packed tuna, and it is tossed with a dressing that will remind you of your childhood, but also with radicchio, which will remind you that you’re an adult and like bitter greens. Thinly sliced fennel would also be a nice addition should you have some around. Macerating the shallot in some vinegar for a few minutes takes off the edge and provides pleasant acidity."


  • ½ cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) red wine vinegar, plus a bit more for the shallots
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • Red wine vinegar, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 jars (6.7-ounce/190 g) oil-packed tuna or good-quality canned tuna, broken into large pieces (I like the Tonnino brand)
  • 3½ cups (233 g) cooked white beans, such as cannellini or butter beans
  • Good-quality olive oil, for drizzling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head radicchio, cored, leaves coarsely torn
  • ¼ cup (13 g) roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley (both leaves and tender stems)
  • Flaky salt, for finishing
  • Toasted bread, for serving (optional)

SERVES 4 to 6

  1. Make the dressing: Whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, oregano, and garlic in a small bowl. Season with kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.
  2. Prepare the salad: Place the shallots in a small bowl and pour in just enough vinegar to cover them. Add a pinch of kosher salt and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and discard the vinegar.
  3. In a medium bowl, gently toss together the shallots, tuna, and white beans. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Place the radicchio in a large bowl and toss with a bit of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large platter.
  4. Arrange the tuna–bean mixture on top and drizzle some more of the vinaigrette. Scatter with parsley and season with flaky salt. Serve with bread, if desired.

    Recipe and photo reprinted with permission; copyright Colu Henry, Photo by Tara Donne


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