White Bean and Tuna Fish Salad

From Delia Smith, How to Cook Book two, as recommended by Marion, when we went down to stay in Firle.
4 as main, 6 as starter

250g cannellini beans (can use 2 tins)
25g rocket, stalks removed
2 x 200g tins tuna fish in oil
50g red onion, sliced into thin rounds
salt & black pepper
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped tsp mustard powder
grated zest 1 lemon
1 rounded tsp black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 level tbsp Maldon sea salt

Begin this the night before you are going to make the salad by placing the beans in a bowl and covering them with cold water to soak. Next day, drain the beans, then put them in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring them up to simmering point. Boil for 10 minutes, then cover and simmer gently for 1¼-1½ hours, or until tender.
Meanwhile, empty the tuna fish into a sieve fitted over a bowl and allow it to drain, reserving the oil. Then, to make the dressing, first crush the garlic and salt using a pestle and mortar till the garlic is pulverised, then work the mustard powder into this. Now push the mixture to one side, add the peppercorns and crush these fairly coarsely. Next add the grated lemon zest, along with the lemon juice, olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the reserved tuna oil (the rest of the tuna oil can be discarded). Whisk everything together very thoroughly, then, when the beans are cooked, drain them, rinse out the saucepan and return the beans to it. Now pour the dressing over while the beans are still warm, give everything a good stir and season generously.
To serve the salad, arrange three-quarters of the rocket leaves over the base of a serving dish, spoon the beans on top and add the tuna fish in chunks. Then add the rest of the rocket leaves, pushing some of the leaves and chunks of tuna right in amongst the beans. Finally, arrange the onion slices on top and serve straight away, allowing people to help themselves. Warm, crusty ciabatta bread would be an excellent accompaniment.


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