Cannellini Bean, Tuna and Red Onion Salad

Cannellini Bean, Tuna and Red Onion Salad

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Serves 6 as a main course

Serve with

Joseph Phelps Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Viognier

Note: the beans need to soak overnight before you start to cook them.

For the beans:

1 lb. Dried cannellini beans
3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
3 Cloves garlic
  Leaves from several sprigs of fresh thyme
  Leaves from several sprigs of fresh marjoram
  Leaves from several sprigs of fresh oregano
1 Large sprig parsley, chopped
1 Medium-sized fresh sage leaf, chopped
1 "Turkish" bay leaf
5 cups Water (more, if needed)

  1. 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.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp. 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).
  3. When beans are done, remove pot from heat, remove 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 freshly ground black pepper to taste
  Aleppo pepper
  Finely chopped flat leaf parsley

  1. Combine drained beans, tuna, onion and olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Mound salad in large bowl or platter with an edge and lightly sprinkle top with Aleppo pepper and chopped parsley to add color.
* I use Tonnino yellowfin tuna Ventrusca in olive oil, available in a 6.7 oz. jar at Sonoma Market. Whatever you use, get an Italian packed tuna in oil. This is very different that U.S. brands and well worth it for this salad.