Italian Style Tuna, Bean and Fennel Salad

A plate to share of a classic salad combo.


2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
1 tinned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 or 1 small fennel bulb
several spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
200g green beans, quickly blanched

1 tinned tuna, spring water or olive oil

handful of rocket
little bit of mint
fresh lemon and parmesan to serve
salt and freshly ground black pepper


This week’s offering was inspired by this Delicious magazine recipe, but really it’s just a nicely arranged version of the classic Italian combo that is tuna and beans. I’ve added a vinegary pile of fresh fennel and loaded up the greens for extra Spring oomph. Totally satisfying and with a few tricks you can use in a hundred other meals. Note it doesn’t require the tuna at all, if you prefer. Adapt it as you see fit of course, and thank the muse of Spring that reminds us of simple things we used to eat in seasons past but haven’t made or enjoyed in quite a while. 

Serves 2

Italian Style Tuna, Bean and Fennel Salad

Thinly slice or shave the fennel bulb, and dress generously with the vinaigrette. This will stop it going brown, but also dress the rest of the salad once it’s co-existing later. Add the spring onions too and set aside.

Heat a rough tablespoon of olive oil in a frypan and gently fry the garlic and rosemary. Add the rinsed cannellini beans and stir together for 5 minutes. Season and turn off the heat.

(Sure, throw this salad together without frying the beans, but it’s hard to go back once you get them in that rosemary and garlic. I would also recommend this for fancy poached eggs, or a quick bean dip – smooshed together a bit and loosened with a dash of water, olive oil and lemon zest it’s delicious and very dip-able).

Pile everything together and enjoy. Yes, I did avoid this looking like my usual one-bowl-pile by arranging it neatly on a plate. But that way you can see what’s there more clearly, and even I like to try new things occasionally. And note the mint – mint was a very nice choice from the Delicious link. Grate parmesan over the top, and keep some extra lemon handy, and capers too – I was out of capers unfortunately. Better get a jar of these on the go asap.

*Doubles easily to serve 4

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