Tuna & White Bean Salad

Hooked albacore tuna

Hooked albacore tuna

By Cat, June 2011 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Although I don’t eat a lot of tuna (because of the mercury levels), tuna in a whole-meal salad is my fav way to have it, with Salade Nicoise at the top of the list. This recipe might just be my second-favorite.

See also: 1Fish & Seafood Menu; 2. Salad Nicoise, with Tuna

Tuna & White Bean Salad

I’ve adapted this recipe from an old McCall’s recipe. The original used canned tuna, but I much prefer broiled or grilled fresh tuna. Or you could use swordfish. I also prefer to soak my beans overnight (or sprout them over 3 days) before cooking; they have more nutrient value from soaking/sprouting, and it shortens the cooking time..

The original serves 8, but I’ve modified to serve 4.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Dressing
  • 1 recipe Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • Beans
  • 8 oz Great Northern (white kidney beans) or Cannellini beans
  • water
  • 1 – 2 carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp dried thyme leaves or 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • ½ Tbsp unrefined sea salt
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 -2 stalks celery
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salad
  • 8 oz fresh tuna steak
  • olive oil
  • lime juice (optional)
  • 1 young cucumber (unpeeled) or ½ older (larger) cuc, peeled
  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes or 12 – 16 ripe grape tomatoes
  • 4 large leaves of romaine or 8 small leaves
  • 8 – 12 pitted Kalamata olives or other brined Green olives
  • Equipment
  • 3 quart saucier or sauce pan
  • large shallow bowl or baking dish
  • grill or roasting pan
  • large platter or 4 individual plates


  1. Beans: Soak beans in water, double enough to cover plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice, overnight; or sprout beans over 3 days. Rinse & drain.
  2. Scrub carrots but leave them whole.
  3. Transfer beans to saucier. Add cold water to cover. Scrub carrots; add whole along with herbs. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then cover pan and simmer over low heat until tender but not mushy (sprouted beans cook faster than soaked beans; see White Beans for more detail). Pour into colander to drain thoroughly.
  4. Remove carrots from drained beans; cut crosswise (or on diagonal) into 1/3-inch slices. Chop green onion. Scrub celery then slice on diagonal about 1/4” thick to make 3/4 cup. Chop parsley leaves.
  5. Transfer warm (not hot) beans to bowl. Shake chilled dressing and pour over beans. Add green onion, celery, parsley and carrots. Toss to combine, being careful not to break up the beans.
  6. Cover bowl and chill in fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Vinaigrette:  Prepare dressing and chill at least 1 hour for flavors to meld.
  8. Tuna: Rinse tuna and then brush both sides with olive oil or a mix of oil and lime juice. Chill to marinate about 1 hour, then remove and roast or grill until medium or medium-rare (to taste). Remove from heat and let rest until you can handle the meat to flake it. Chill if not ready to assemble salad.
  9. Assemble salad on a platter or individual plates:
  10. Line plates or platter with torn pieces of romaine leaves; alternately. Mound beans in center of platter, or to one side of each plate. Arrange chilled tuna at one end of platter or to opposite side of each plate.
  11. Cut tomato each into 6 wedges (or if using grape tomatoes cut in half, crosswise); slice cucumber thinly (note: No need to peel a young cuc, but peel larger cucs lengthwise, leaving thin strips of peel remaining between each stripe removed.)
  12. Arrange cucumber slices and tomato wedges around the beans and tuna, and garnish with olives.


  1. Good Housekeeping magazine (2008): goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a6998/tuna-poivre-lemon-caper-lentils-ghk0108

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