Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recipe: Mediterranean White Bean Salad with Roasted Olives

Nothing against canned foods, but uh, most of them kinda suck. I would rather gnaw on my own hand than eat canned green beans (more like grey beans – false advertising!) And my only fond memory of canned black olives entails watching my then-baby sister pop one on each of her fingers then happily bite them off.

That being said, there are a few canned goods that reserve the right to a constant spot in my pantry – Beans and tuna. Both of these protein-packed time savers have gotten me through many a quick meal.

Thanks to a roasting revelation, a can of black olives (gasp!) will now find company in the top left corner of the cabinet over the microwave. After 25 minutes in the oven, the metallic taste all but fades away, as the olives shrivel slightly and by some miracle taste good. Really good.

This salad comes together in no time, and on Thursday by oh, 2 pm I should be able to verify that it got me through 4 consecutive days of packed lunches.

One 6 ounce can large, pitted black olives, drained and rinsed
Olive oil
One 15 ounce can white cannellini (kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
One 5 ounce can tuna in water, drained well
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes (can substitute roasted red peppers)
Handful of fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Zest of 1 lemon

Spread olives on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.

Meanwhile, place beans, tuna, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl. Add the red onion, being sure to separate the slivers. Toss gently with a fork, breaking up the tuna as you go.

To make the dressing, vigorously whisk together the ½ cup olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and lemon zest.

After olives have cooled for a few minutes, add them to the salad and toss to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss once more so all of the ingredients are evenly coated.

Serve cold or at room temperature. 

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