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Souper Simple Tuna & Bean Salad

Have you seen Mark Bittman's newest cookbook, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express? It is totally Zeppelin (as in...it rocks, hard)! I love how Bittman describes this book in his introduction. He calls its recipes "precisely imprecise". It is a fabulous collection of 404 "recipes"...101 for each season. Each "recipe" is just a few simple lines stating approximate amounts and ingredient suggestions...core recipes, if you will. You can adjust amounts to suit your needs at any given time; and everything in here can make it to the table in "twenty minutes, max." And of course I love his remembrance of Jacques Pepin (amazing) once remarking to him that the old adage about "never stepping foot in the same river twice holds true for recipes also: You don't start with the same amount of ingredients, they're not at the same temperature, they're not the same age or from the same place, the ambient temperature and humidity are probably different, as are your equipment and mood. Everything is different, and the results will be too." Genius...love that way of thinking...cooking...creating!

I was flipping through looking up key ingredients in the index that I might already have in my pantry or fridge and came upon a great "recipe" for Tuna and Bean salad. I want to write it exactly as he did, so that you can see the basic idea of this amazing cookbook.

Tuna and Bean Salad
from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express p.170

Mix a cup or so of precooked or canned cannellini beans (drained) with a can of good tuna (packed in olive oil), a handful of chopped parsley, salt, pepper, a teeny bit of garlic (optional) or shallot (or red onion, or scallion, or whatever), and, if you have it, a sprig of rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil, toss, adjust seasoning, and serve with good bread or alongside cold cooked asparagus.

That's it...his simple recipe...that's how they're all written- nice, huh? Anyhoo...here's the process:

I opened one can of white tuna packed in olive oil and dumped it into a bowl, then dumped in ~1 cup of canned, drained Great Northern Beans.
Next, I chopped a handful of parsley, minced a small clove of garlic, and finely diced ~1/4 of a small red onion and added it all to the bowl. Then I added freshly cracked black pepper and some Black Truffle Sea Salt.Then I added a (blurry) glug of olive oil and tossed it all up. Just before I mixed up this quick, healthy salad, I blanched some tiny asparagus spears and chilled them. I served the salad with the asparagus (both sprinkled with some more pepper & truffle salt), a hunk of good bread and a glass of Chardonnay. Delicious!This was another of those books that I had to run over to Amazon and buy right away! But, I know it will get a lot of use...so it will be well worth it! I'm sending this salad over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchens for this weeks Souper (soup, salad, sammie) Sundays!