Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad
For an even prettier presentation, use a mixture of red, orange and yellow heirloom tomatoes. If you don’t have expensive, syrupy balsamic, use an average balsamic and a pinch of sugar in place of it.
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon thick, old, expensive, fancy balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cheaper, bulk balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
Pinch kosher salt
4 large tomatoes, seeded* and diced (1 tomato per person)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red or green onion (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 (5- or 6-ounce) cans light or white tuna, drained
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and well drained
In a large mixing bowl, add oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic and salt. Whisk until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking, adding more vinegar or perhaps a grind of pepper if you like.
To the bowl with dressing add the tomatoes and toss to coat with dressing. To the bowl, add the rest of the ingredients: onion (if using), basil, tuna and beans, and toss gently, just enough to combine. (If you toss too vigorously, the beans will break apart and mash; this is why you tossed the tomatoes first, because they are sturdier.)
Taste and season with additional salt and freshly ground pepper if needed, and toss gently once more.
To serve, mound in a bowl, or for a fancier presentation, line a plate or bowl with spinach or lettuce leaves and mound the salad onto the greens. Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
*How to seed a tomato:
The easiest way to seed tomatoes is to cut them in half at the equator, which opens all the seed pockets. Then simply hold the half-tomato over the sink and use a finger to scoop out the seeds into the garbage disposal.
Tweaking is fun on this salad! Spinach…garbanzo beans…Kalamata olives…fresh mozzarella…a little finely minced fresh rosemary…a final drizzle of truffle oil (should you be so lucky to have some)…let your imagination wander.