Jamie Who is a blog about everything. Except current affairs. And politics. Also science, sport, religion, celebrities, movies, media and marketing, technology, business and design. So...basically Jamie Who is a blog about food. All things food.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rustic salad of cannellini beans, seared tuna and six herbs

With summer (finally) seemingly here it's time to put away the curries, stews and soups as salads and lighter meals take to the stage. I dig salads. The cool thing for me is the diversity that they offer. They can be light and elegant or they can be a beefed up to make something a bit more substantial. That's what we're going for with this recipe. Something ballsy. The flavours are strong, the presentation is rustic and anyone - even that distant cousin who looks at you funny and people call "special" - can make it. It's so, so simple.

Okay, stuff you'll need to feed 4:
  • About 800g of the best tuna you can find
  • A handful of basil, torn
  • A handful of mint, torn
  • A handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • A handful of chives, roughly chopped
  • A handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • Two handfulls of wild rocket
  • A big bunch of asparagus
  • Two packets of Ina Paarman sundried tomatoes in vinaigrette
  • A handful of caperberries
  • Two tins of cannellini beans, drained (Just use your favourite beans here. Butter beans, red kidney, borlotti etc.)
  • Juice of three lemons
  • 4 radishes, very finely finely sliced

Okay, what to do:

1. In boiling, salted water cook the asparagus for a few minutes. When done, remove and plunge into ice cold water. You want the asparagus to still have a bit of a bite.

2. In a large bowl combine all the herbs. Pour in both packets of sundried tomatoes, the radishes, the beans and the caperberries.

3. Heat a pan until smoking hot. Rub tuna steaks with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 1 and a half minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE TUNA. I swear, you will want to cook it longer. If you do, I hate you.

4. Remove tuna and tear into rough chunks. Throw tuna, asparagus and lemon juice into a bowl and using your hands gently mix it to make sure everything is coated. Add a good glug of olive oil and repeat.

To serve, place in the middle of a deep bowl. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil if necessary.

This salad is absolutely beautiful to look at and eat. The colours are bright and fresh, the flavours are layered to allow every single element to be appreciated and the textures compliment each other. Creamy beans, rich tuna, sharp caperberries, a bit of acidity from the lemon, perry radishes. It is all good. The vinaigrette from the sundried tomatoes is surprisingly good and works well as a dressing. (sometimes being lazy is FINE!) Oh yeah, it's also packed with nutrients, loaded with protein, low in fat and has basically no calories. Did I mention that? No? Well there you go. Healthy food that will make you weak at the knees. That's how we roll.


Jamie Who

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