We have a lovely girl staying with us at the moment from Spain. She is working at the hospital and so I have been making her a lunch to take with her each day. Today, in my quest to get away from sandwiches, I made her a deliciously different salad for a change.
Brown bagging it can get quite boring if you don't make an effort to shake things up once in a while and this delicious salad is the perfect way to do just that. It makes good use of store cupboard ingredients such as tinned Cannellini Beans and tinned tuna. The flavours of the tuna really shine in this salad, so you really want to use a better quality one. I like to use Albacore tuna for a dish such as this.
Along with the beans and tuna I made good use of the fresh ingredients I had to hand . . . lovely baby new potatoes, fresh sweet bell peppers (in this case green), ripe baby plum tomatoes, a shallot . . .
A handful of green olives . . . I like the Crespo ones which come in a little foil pack which are pitted and have been marinated with garlic and herbs . . . and a punchy vinaigrette dressing.
The dressing is made using extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, ground cumin and some tasty Spanish smoked paprika for a bit of punch and a subtle smokey flavour. I also seasoned the salad well with some fine sea salt and cracker black pepper and threw in a small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley.
Altogether I was quite pleased with the results and I hope that she was too. I really felt it was a nice combination of flavours, colours and textures. It was also really tasty. Much better than another ham sandwich, I thought. Plus, it's also good for a packed lunch as there is no mayonnaise in it and as long as it is well chilled when you put it into your brown bag and keep it in a dark cool place it will be just perfect at room temperature for lunch time.
*Tuna, White Bean and Potato Salad*Serves 4
8 baby plum tomatoes, chopped coarsely and drained1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2 TBS finely chopped flat leaf parsley
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 TBS sherry vinegar
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Spanish Smoked Paprika
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper