This delicious Mediterranean salad can be rustled up in less than 20 minutes using mostly canned or jarred pantry ingredients. The most time-consuming part is boiling the eggs, so if you want to speed it up further, buy ready-cooked, peeled eggs. And if you already have a jar of olive oil dressing, just add a little mayonnaise and chopped fresh onion to it and and you’re looking at a 10-minute meal.
Despite its humble ingredients, this salad packs a powerful nutritional punch: Oodles of high-quality protein from eggs and tuna, gut-microbe-friendly fiber and low-glycemic carbohydrate from the beans, healthy fats from olive oil, egg and tuna, and antioxidant nutrients from the bell peppers. If this salad doesn’t fill you up for hours, you’ll get your money back.
I developed this recipe for a client of mine who had bought cans and cans of tuna before sheltering at home from the coronavirus; to her dismay, she then discovered she didn’t really like canned tuna! Barbara, this one’s for you — I hope you’ll find it a palatable way to run down your canned fish supplies. (Works well with canned salmon, sardines or mackerel, too.)
Tuna, bean & red-pepper salad
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups white beans my favorites are cannellini, but lima or navy beans work, too
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp shallot or red onion finely chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise avocado-oil mayonnaise is best; Chosen Foods and Primal Kitchen are my favorite brands
- 2 celery sticks finely cubed
- 1 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped
- 12 oz jar roasted peppers in water my favorite brand is Cento
- 2 5 oz cans tuna I like Wild Planet's Albacore wild tuna
- 4 cups arugula
- 8 pitted kalamata olives
- Place the eggs in a small pot and cover with water; there should be about 1 inch of water above the eggs. Bring to a boil over high heat.Turn off the heat, leave the pan on the hot burner, cover and let sit for 10-12 minutes. (Exactly how long you should leave them to set depends on the size of the eggs, the ratio of water to eggs and the altitude at which you find yourself (the higher you are, the more time they need; in Boulder, CO, at 5,328 feet, I find 11 minutes works perfectly).
- Prepare a bowl of ice water (cold tap water & ice cubes).Once the timer rings, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and gently drop them into the ice water. Leave for 10-15 minutes, then remove and peel (easiest under running water). Chop coarsely and set aside.
- While the eggs are cooking & cooling, combine mustard,vinegar, shallot/onion (whichever using), salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Now add olive oil and mayonnaise and whisk again to obtain a smooth, creamy dressing. Transfer about ¼ of the dressing to another medium bowl.
- Add the beans, peppers, celery, eggs and 2/3 of the parsley to the large bowl that contains most of the dressing and toss gently to combine (leave tuna and egg chunks visible). Salt to taste, if necessary (the tuna and mayonnaise already supply quite a bit of salt.)
- Put arugula or salad greens in the smaller bowl with the rest of the dressing and toss lightly. Arrange the dressed greens on dining plates and then top with the bean, pepper and tuna salad. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve immediately.
- Stored in a tightly sealed container, this keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days.