Up until this point, I have only spent 1 month on each country – but I’ve decided to dedicate both June AND July to Italian cooking. Why? Well first, I have 2 conferences to attend in June, which is going to seriously cut into my time to be able to cook and blog. And second, there’s just too much ‘Italian’ to cover in the span of one month. I’m also choosing this cuisine during the summer in order to make good use of fresh vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, basil, etc. while they are easily available.
Since this is a weeknight endeavor in a very busy week, I’m starting with a very basic salad of tuna and white beans, a combination that I’ve always enjoyed and is distinctly Italian. I took the simple recipe from “The Classic Italian Cook Book” by Marcella Hazan. In anticipation of cooking Italian, I swiped this book from my parents’ house when I visited in April. Then a few weeks back, I actually saw the book listed in the top 5 books that every kitchen should have – didn’t know it was that much of a classic, but now I’m especially glad to have it this month! This is a great summer weeknight meal, and this amount serves 2.
Tuna and Bean Salad
1 can Northern beans or white kidney beans (cannellini)
1 can tuna, packed in oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. or more red wine vinegar, to taste
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly, to taste
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
One hour before assembly, slice the red onion, place it in a bowl, and cover with water. This is not necessary, but helps remove some of the bite! After the hour, drain the onions, drain and rinse the beans, and drain the tuna. Mix together tuna, beans and onion, and season with salt to taste. Add olive oil and red wine vinegar, and sprinkle with black pepper. Toss and taste to adjust any seasonings. If you’re lucky after all that tasting there will still be some left for your meal :) Serve on a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber for a quick summer meal.
Adapted from: The Classic Italian Cookbook, by Marcella Hazan