31 July 2013

3inGiro in the Summer Kitchen

We try to keep it cool in our Italian kitchen during the summer months. While our house stays relatively cool, none of us has much of an appetite for anything heavy in this heat, AND heating up the kitchen only leads to heating the entire house. Not cool.

And the melons and tomatoes and peaches and zucchini are so dang good right now. They don't require much cooking.

It's hot out there folks, and homes here generally don't have central AC. Admittedly, ours has a few strategically placed wall units that we run, mostly as dehumidifies, occasionally. (If you call nearly everyday occasional. Don't judge. I don't glisten, I sweat.)

So we eat lots of cold foods or foods cooked outside.

This is a favorite tuna salad that I learned from my friend Patti, who replicated a dish she tasted it Calabria, where she owns a house near the seaside. Okay. An apartment. Okay. A wee studio apartment across the street from the sea. Really though, it still makes me envious: a home by the sea in Southern Italy.

This recipe is a go-to summer salad in our house. Here's the kicker: this tastes completely different with water-packed American canned tuna! Eek! If you have to use it, perhaps a generous pour of a good extra virgin olive oil might help, but I'm not making promises.

Last time I made it I did use Italian tuna packed in water, and it was still very good. I think I'll continue to do that so I can control the amount and quality of the oil.



White Bean and Tuna Salad

These are proportions I used today. Suit them to your taste. I never make it the same.

400g white beans, like cannellini; rinsed (2 small cans)

160g (Italian) tuna (2 small cans)

About a quarter of a red onion, chopped finely

A small handfull of toasted nuts, usually pine nuts. Today I used chopped walnuts.

Extra virgin olive oil


Hint: toast the nuts! Always toast the nuts! You can do this in the oven or stovetop.

Combine the ingredients and add evoo, salt and pepper to taste.


Today I served it on a bed of mixed lettuce with little tomatoes. Yum. I've also served it alone with crackers. Yum, too.

Bon apetito!



  1. Yum! I'm going to save this recipe idea! Looks delicious!


    1. I'll send you some tuna, Leslie.

  2. Looks yummy! We can actually get Italian tuna at our super market!

    1. I highly recommend that you try it!

  3. I love this salad. And yes I'm with you on the oil quality, its really what makes or breaks the salad.

    1. In each and every case the oil matters, imho. We've become olive oil snobs after reading a book about it. Have you seen it? Extra Virginity. Okay...not snobs...but certainly picky.

  4. what's wrong with american canned tuna? it has no flavor at all!
    buon appetito!

    1. But....why? How can something as simple as tuna be so entirely different? But then again, how can a peach taste so different too?