Friday, December 10, 2010

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley

2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 T peperoncini juice (brine from the jar of peperoncini)
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15.5 oz.) Cannellini beans (or use any type of white beans)
1 can (5 oz.) tuna packed in olive oil, drained (I love Tonno Genova Tuna in Olive Oil.)
4 large peperoncini peppers, drained, seeded, and chopped (about 2 T chopped peperoncini)
1/2 cup chopped parsley (or more)

Put the beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears) then let beans drain (or blot dry with paper towels if you're in a hurry!)

Whisk together the lemon juice, peperoncini juice, and olive oil, then add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (I used a generous amount of pepper, but not much salt.) Combine the drained beans with 2 T of dressing and let marinate while you prep the other ingredients.

Drain olive oil from the tuna and discard. Wash parsley, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then finely chop. Drain peperoncini, remove seeds, and finely chop.

Mix the drained tuna, chopped parsley, and chopped peperoncini into the marinating beans and gently combine. Add additional dressing until the salad seems wet enough to you (I used about 3/4 of the dressing.) Season to taste with additional salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired, and serve.

This can be served room temperature or chilled. This salad will stay good in the refrigerator for a day or two, and would be great to take to work for a lunch salad.

I can think of a lot of other things you could add to this salad including diced red onion, chopped kalamata olives, chopped red bell pepper, or chopped cucumber. If anyone tries some of those variations, I'd love to hear how you liked them.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect lunch salad or side dish salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. The salad isn't low in fat, but olive oil is a "good fat" for the South Beach Diet.

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