Hey, friends! It’s hot and humid in New Hampshire right now and our small garden is producing basil and green beans almost faster than we can eat them. So I did a google search for a dinner salad (because it’s too darn hot to cook) and here we are!
Green Bean and Tuna Salad with Basil Dressing is seriously delicious. YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO MAKE IT. (yes, ALL CAPS because I’m excited about this one and don’t want you to miss out!) This recipe is straight from Epicurious.com (linked below) and is the perfect hot weather dish.
Put aside all your ideas about mushy canned tuna and mayo — because there’s none of that here. This is w-a-y better — please keep reading for more details on that.
But first, don’t be daunted by the list of ingredients — I’ll give you some tips on where to find the specialty tuna and everything else is easy to find and simple to prepare. You’re going to be blanching some green beans, blending up a delicious basil dressing and adding oil-packed tuna and capers.
Be sure to read my helpful tips below before making the recipe. They could save you some time and answer a few questions.
A Flavor-Packed, Nutrition-Filled Salad
There are lots of fresh greens and a good amount of protein and fiber in this recipe — which make it healthy and nutritious. But let’s talk about flavor. The light and tasty basil dressing really makes the dish — we both loved it! I think the dressing would be delicious on many different vegetables and salads, as well as in potato or egg salad.
Let’s Take a Look at the Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- Green beans
- Basil leaves, fresh
- Olive oil, extra-virgin
- Fresh lemon juice
- Black pepper
- Little Gem lettuce or romaine hearts: The original recipe calls for a full head of lettuce — which seems like too much, given the dressing amount; I used romaine heart leaves and just eyeballed an amount that seemed to make sense. See my highlighted note below.
- Canned white beans
- Parsley leaves: The original recipe calls for one cup, but I cut it back to 1/2 cup.
- Oil-packed tuna in a jar: I had never heard of tuna in a jar. Turns out my regular grocery store doesn’t carry it, but I found Tonnino brand at Walmart. Some premium tunas do come in a can (Genova is one). In any case, you are looking for olive-oil packed, thick-cut tuna. It’ll cost more than the watery shredded stuff in a can — but guys, it is so worth it. This is excellent tuna!
Note on the Lettuce: The recipe calls for 1 large or 2 small heads of Little Gem lettuce or romaine hearts. I opted to use about equal amounts of white beans, parsley and romaine heart leaves. Worked out perfectly for the amount of dressing.
Green Bean + Tuna Salad Prep Tips
I like to prep some of our dinner ahead whenever I can. Here are some tips in case you want to do that, too:
Earlier in the Day
- Make the Dressing: The original recipe calls for using a blender, but I found my food processor worked better. This might be because I cut the recipe in half (from 4 servings to 2) and didn’t quite have enough to work through the blender. Refrigerate the dressing and then bring it to room temperature again before using it in the recipe.
- Trim the Green Beans
- Drain and Rinse the White Beans
I’m guessing you could also cook and blanch the green beans ahead of time, but I didn’t do that this time. Proceed with the rest of the directions when you’re ready to serve the salad. Enjoy!
Ways to Enhance the Salad
We really liked the recipe as is. But you can bulk it up a bit by adding cooked fingerling or new potatoes — a suggestion made in some of the comments on epicurious. I think it would be good with the addition of a hard-boiled egg or two as well. Get creative and make it your own!
If you decide to try this Green Bean and Tuna Salad, be sure to come back and leave a comment or tag @Honest_and_Simple on Instagram. I’d love to hear what you think.
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