After a series of misses in the kitchen (bland arroz con pollo, gummy buckwheat soba noodle salad, disappointing pad thai) I am so happy to finally have landed on a meal that actually made me want seconds, and I don't even feel like I'm bragging when I tell you how good this was, for two key reasons. One, it wasn't cooking so much as "chopping and assembling" and two, I was really just copying a dish I had at Po, in an attempt to replicate their cured tuna appetizer.
It's been a while since I had Po's version, but my attempt hit on all the notes I remember from Po: it was fresh, tangy, crunchy and meaty, and most of all, it was uncomplicated. I served my cured tuna salad with toasted bread, courtesy of the nice folks at Zaro's Bakery -- I attended a tasting at the foodie-mall-fantasy market at Grand Central Terminal on Tuesday night, and while chatting with other food bloggers suddenly found a giant sack of bread being thrust into my hands. I never turn down a carb, and the 8-Grain Bread toasted up nicely, two days later. This was a good dinner and as I am - despite any indications I've given otherwise - a lazy and impatient cook, the fact that the only time I ventured near the stove was to toast my pine nuts, and then the bread, it was a perfect weeknight meal.
Tuna and White Bean Salad, with Chili-Mint Vinaigrette
- 1 can butter or cannellini beans (14 oz)
- 1 large can Italian tuna, in oil (200 g - sorry, am bad at conversions)
- 1 small head frisee lettuce
- 1 small-medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 handful pine nuts, toasted
- juice of one lemon
(for the vinaigrette)
- 1 bunch mint, minced (about 1/4 cup when chopped)
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 2-3 glugs chili oil
- 2-3 glugs olive oil
- apprx 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- salt, pepper to taste
Coarsely chop half the head of frisee. Add tuna, white beans, sliced onions, toasted pine nuts (toast in skillet about 4 minutes, until brown and fragrant) and toss with juice of one lemon. Prepare the dressing: mince the mint leaves and shallot, add chili oil, olive oil,vinegar, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk, and then add to the tuna and white bean salad. Toss gently and serve over toasted rustic bread.