Tonight was one of those nights when I wanted to make something quickly. After a look in the pantry and the vegetable bin of the refrigerator, I recalled a salad that I had seen on a Cooking Channel show. That recipe called for tuna, cannellini beans, celery, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Fortunately, I had those ingredients and found a few more items that would complement those both in flavor and texture.
I drained and rinsed a can of cannellini beans and added a can of water-packed tuna. To that, I added half of a medium-sized red onion (minced), two stalks of celery (minced), half of an English cucumber (diced) and a roasted red bell pepper (diced) from a jar. Once I mixed these ingredients together, I made a dressing by zesting and juicing a lemon into the bowl and stirring in 1/4 cup of olive oil. I finished it off by seasoning with freshly ground black pepper and a healthy pinch of grey, sea salt.
This is definitely one of those dishes that tastes pretty good as soon as you combine the ingredients, but, if you give the flavors a chance to meld together for just a short time, say 20 minutes, it is worth the wait. The freshness of the lemon zest and juice, combined with the crunch of the onion, celery and cucumber, the sweetness of the roasted pepper, the creaminess of the cannellini beans and the light flavor of tuna just might make you forget that you are eating tuna salad that doesn’t have any mayo in it. I certainly didn’t miss it.