Inspired by a salad I recently enjoyed at Vapiano, this Mediterranean tuna and white bean salad is bursting with healthy, light flavors—from the fresh parsley and mint, to the crisp celery, red and green onions, and peppery arugula. Together with big, creamy butter beans and tuna, it’s rich in protein and fiber. It’s a complete meal delivering pure goodness and is an ideal make ahead salad for your busiest days!
Being the major bean snob that I am, without question, I prefer dried beans over canned ones. I’d even go so far to say that I won’t eat canned ones. So I am willing to take the time to soak and cook them every single time I want to use them in a recipe. The only thing requiring when preparing beans is a little extra foresight.
Cooking with dried beans
The easiest way is to just put tomorrow night’s beans into a big bowl of water with a ratio of at least 3 cups water per 1 cup dried beans (will yield you about 2 1/2 cups cooked) before you go to bed. This will give you faster cooking beans the next day. I always make extra and store them in the refrigerator in the remaining cooking liquid along with a splash of olive oil and a dash of salt. They keep for up to 5 days this way.
Mediterranean Tuna and White Bean Salad
For the salad:
- 1 cup giant white beans (butter beans), soaked in water overnight (or 2 cans of cannellini or butter beans, rinsed and drained)
- 2 x 190 g jars good-quality sustainable tuna packed in olive oil, drained, broken into pieces
- 1 small red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 3 celery stalks, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
- 2 generous handfuls arugula
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons good-quality red or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons plain yogurt
Drain and rinse the beans. In a large pot, add the beans and cover with 4-5 cm of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, partially covered, until the beans are tender, but still hold their shape. The beans should be cooked but not mushy. Set aside to cool.
Toss the beans, tuna, onion, celery, parsley and mint together in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and lemon juice with the garlic, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard, olive oil and yogurt.
Combine the dressing with the bean and tuna mixture, add the arugula and toss again.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy with a slice of warm grilled country bread!
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