6 July 2012

BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD

BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD
This is an Italian salad ('Insalata di Fagiolini, Patate, Tonno e Uova') we make quite often in the summer - but be warned, it's not one for the faint-hearted (well faint-nosed in this case). Beans, tuna, eggs and onions, four ingredients strong in taste and smell, but the combination works exceptionally well, especially with the potatoes as a neutral foundation and bringing all ingredients together. 

BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD
A fantastic fresh and cool summer lunch or evening meal with tons of textures and flavours. But: due to the strong 'aroma' maybe not so suitable for a picnic hamper, or to serve to guests, well, not if you want them to come back I guess...  ;-)  Even the first day is fine, but if you, like us, make enough for the next day - and it does get better as all the flavours blend together - then make sure to put it in a well sealable container, or wrap the bowl twice fully into cling film as it develops quite a strong smell. You could leave at least the onions out, but we think it's best just like this, smelly or not...   :-)

Recipe Source: Unknown, from Italy

Quantities are estimates, and can be varied, i.e. more or less of each, according to taste or what is available in your pantry. This salad is about the combination of flavours, not about accurate quantities: 
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Makes app. 6 servings:

600-700g hard-boiling potatoes
300-350g fresh or frozen beans 
1 tin tuna (app. 160g) (best is the green Rio Mare in extra virgin olive oil)
4 eggs
1 small red onion
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly milled black pepper

Boil the potatoes, beans and eggs: wash the potatoes, put them unpeeled in a pot, cover with cold water and then boil them with their skin until soft. They are done when a knife can be easily inserted, but they also fall off the knife. If they cling on to the knife they need to be cooked a little longer - I quite like them a bit softer so they tend to fall apart a little in the salad, that way melting around the other ingredients - but don't leave them long enough so they turn later into mash potatoes. Normally the potatoes used tend to consist of bigger and smaller ones anyhow, so they would automatically have different textures later when left to cook for the same time in the pot. Drain, leave to cool a little, then peel off the skins and cut into slices into a salad bowl. 
BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD
Wash the beans and trim off the ends, but leave whole. Put them into a pot, cover with cold water, add salt, and leave to cook for a few minutes until tender but still crunchy. Once cooked, pour into a sieve, then pour over cold water so that they get their green colour back. Alternatively dip them into iced water. Drain and add to the potatoes. 
BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD
Hard-boil the eggs. To do so, first make a small hole on the round side of each egg so that the air inside the egg can escape during boiling. This will prevent the eggs from cracking. With the help of a spoon, slowly lower the eggs one after the other with the round side up into the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. When boiled, put them immediately into cold water, then peel off the shell.  Cut into slices and add to the potatoes and beans. 
BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALADBEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD
Empty the tuna into a sieve and let the oil run off then cut directly in the sieve with a knife into smaller pieces and add to the salad. Last, peel the onion, cut into quarters, then into very thin stripes, or dice if you prefer and add to the bowl. Season with pepper and plenty of salt and stir well. Add the olive oil and stir again. Cover the bowl and leave to cool in the fridge, stirring occasionally and adding more salt and olive oil as necessary so that the salad is not too dry. The potatoes will absorb quite a bit of the oil and salt. 
BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD

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BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD

BEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALADBEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALADBEAN, POTATO, TUNA AND EGG SALAD

Makes app. 6 servings:

600-700g hard-boiling potatoes
300-350g fresh or frozen beans 
1 tin tuna (app. 160g) (best is the green Rio Mare in extra virgin olive oil)
4 eggs
1 small red onion
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly milled black pepper

Boil the potatoes, beans and eggs: wash the potatoes, put them unpeeled in a pot, cover with cold water and then boil them with their skin until soft. Drain, leave to cool a little, then peel of the skins and cut into slices into a salad bowl. Wash the beans and trim off the ends, but leave whole. Put them into a pot, cover with cold water, add salt, and leave to cook for a few minutes until tender but still crunchy. Once cooked, pour into a sieve, then pour over cold water so that they get their green colour back. Alternatively dip them into iced water. Drain and add to the potatoes. Hard-boil the eggs. When boiled, put them immediately into cold water, then peel off the shell.  Cut into slices and add to the potatoes and beans. Empty the tuna into a sieve and let the oil run off then cut directly in the sieve with a knife into smaller pieces and add to the salad. Last, peel the onion, cut into quarters, then into very thin stripes, or dice if you prefer and add to the bowl. Season with pepper and plenty of salt and stir well. Add the olive oil and stir again. Cover the bowl and leave to cool in the fridge, stirring occasionally and adding more salt and olive oil if necessary so that the salad is not too dry. The potatoes will absorb quite a bit of the oil and salt. 
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