Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuna sandwich with white beans and radish.

Tuna with white beans, radish and capers. © Ryan Schierling
There are days when I crave the tuna salad sandwich from my childhood – tinned, chunk light tuna mixed with mayonnaise and sweet relish, on thin slices of whole wheat bread. It's a simple sandwich to make, and it always tastes exactly the way I remember it. 

Julie has zero frame of reference for tuna salad, because she never had it as a kid, not even once. The first tuna sandwich she was willing to try was my tuna melt with Mexican mint marigold, and this was just in the last few years. There was no cajoling, no "just try it, just one bite, c''s just tuna, it's not like it's octopus salad..."  She tried it, liked it, and that opened the door just enough for me to wedge in a can of premium yellowfin tuna packed in olive oil. 

Now there are two tonno sandwiches we make regularly at home. This second sandwich is a flavorful, protein-packed tuna salad with cannellini beans, radishes, shallots, capers, parsley and lemon zest. No heavy mayo or sticky-sweet relish, just a refreshing, clean and crunchy tuna salad served on toasted ciabatta rolls. 

Tuna salad with cannellini beans and radish

2 5-ounce cans yellowfin tuna in olive oil, drained and oil reserved
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup thinly-sliced radishes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons capers
salt and pepper
4 Ciabatta rolls

Mix all ingredients except the reserved oil from the cans of tuna. Add oil a little at a time until the tuna mixture is moist and will just hold together. Salt and pepper to taste. Split and toast ciabatta rolls, spread tuna salad onto rolls. 

Serves 4.

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