Here in Italy, this beans and tuna salad is a great classic, eaten especially during the summer months to fight the growing heat. According to tradition, this dish originates in northern Tuscany, but it’s widely prepared all over the country, sometimes with regional variations. In the southern regions of Italy for instance, it’s quite common to add a few fresh chilies in place of pepper, or to use chili infused olive oil instead of the regular one.
Quick and inexpensive
This straightforward tuna salad is a super-fast lunch recipe. It is very satisfying and ideal for those times when you need to pull together a full meal as quickly as possible. In fact, it’s beyond simple to make, and it’s prepared with basic ingredients that every one of us has stocked in the pantry. It’s extremely inexpensive and great in every season of the year.
Beans and tuna salad is a delicious rustic dish, packed with proteins and characterized by the sweet sharpness of the red onion, the richness of the canned tuna and the creaminess of the cannellini beans. If you like simple recipes and strong flavors, this is definitely the recipe for you!
Canned or fresh beans?
In theory, this simple salad should be prepared with dried cannellini beans soaked overnight and then boiled, but I think canned ones work perfectly fine as well, just make sure they are not too mushy. Also, for a great result it is essential that your tuna is packed in oil and not in water.
Finally, this is the simplest and most traditional version of this tuna salad, but if you’d like to enrich it with a few extra ingredients all you have to do is to add cherry tomatoes, arugula, capers or anything else you fancy. Here in Liguria for instance, when we prepare this salad, some nice niçoise olives are almost always featured.
Here are some other authentic Mediterranean tuna recipes:
Giorgia was born in a small town on the Italian Riviera, half the way between Genova and the Cinque Terre, just a few miles away from where pesto was invented. She has a background in psychology and neuroscience and is now completing her training to become a licensed psychologist while working as a web writer. As most of the time happens in Italy, it was her lovely grandmother that taught her how to cook and enjoy every bite of simple and genuine food. Giorgia loves preparing meals for family and friends and her specialty are authentic Sicilian and Ligurian dishes. Other than cooking, her greatest passions are traveling and trekking. Her biggest dream is to be able to see (and taste!) as much of the word as possible.