Tuna-and-White-Bean Salad

Food & Wine
Purists would insist on imported Italian canned tuna fish for this Tuscan classic, but we think plain old tuna from the supermarket is just fine, too. However, make sure the fish is packed in oil; not only will the tuna be infinitely more flavorful, we use the oil as part of the dressing.


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2 6- ounces cans tuna packed in oil
3 cups drained and rinsed canned white beans, preferably cannellini (from two 15-ounce cans)
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 bunches watercress (about 3/4 pound), tough stems removed and leaves chopped (about 2 quarts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red- or white-wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper


Put the tuna with its oil, the beans, onion, capers, watercress, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

Variations: · Use arugula instead of the watercress.: · Try canned sardines instead of the tuna.

Wine Recommendation: Vernaccia di San Gimignano, from the vineyards surrounding the oft-pictured hilltop town of San Gimignano, is a refreshing and racy wine. Its subtle almond flavors will blend well with the earthiness of the beans.

Notes: Since there are so few ingredients in this simple salad, you'll want to use really good canned beans; lower-quality beans are mushy. Among the many fine brands, we find Goya to be consistently reliable. If your tuna has less than one-and-a-half tablespoons of oil per can, add a little extra olive oil to make up the difference. We're counting on that much oil as part of the dressing.

Created date

June 2004