tonno e fagiolo (well, sort of)

thanks to Robert Neuschul for this.

Take circa 250g good quality 'new' [*] dry butter beans. Rinse thoroughly and remove any broken beans, then leave to soak overnight. Drain and leave to sprout on a warm and well lit window ledge. Rinse at least once per day. When the sprouting shoot is approximately 1/2" long they are ready. This usually takes 3 days at this time of year.

Rinse and drain beans for the last time, then place in a saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Add a good pinch of summer savory. Put on the lowest heat you can safely manage and bring slowly to a rolling simmer; leave for approximately 10-15 minutes [until almost al dente] then turn the heat off, add a cup of really cold water and leave to sit for around 30 minutes before draining. The beans should now be cooked and /only/ just past al dente.

Tuna cheat mode: take two normal size tins of good quality tuna [approx 500g total] in springwater, drain well and flake into a bowl.

Tuna proper mode: take approximately 500g of a good tuna steak, wrap firmly into a tinfoil 'sausage' with some fresh thyme leaves and a small quantity of oregano, and poach lightly for approximately 15 minutes. Leave to cool, then chill in its foil in the fridge for around 30-45 minutes. Unwrap and flake into a bowl as above.

Tuna supernature mode: marinade 500g uncooked sashimi-grade tuna in lemon and lime juices for around 4 hours. Then flake - very very carefully.

To the tuna flakes add any/all of the following in quantities to suit:

salt, pepper, drained capers, summer savory, chopped smoked cherry toms, pine or apricot kernels [or both], sweet paprika.

Add the drained /cold/ beans, mix gently but well [so as not to 'break' the beans], dress with a good olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and if you're feeling adventurous, add a small splash of lime juice as well. White wine or cider vinegar is acceptable as an alternative; balsamic is too heavy and rich - it usually drowns the tast of the fish. Cover and leave to marinate for a couple of hours [or more] in the fridge.
Cheats sometimes add a drop or three of mayonaise before chilling.

Be cautious of adding too much oil/juice dressing; the salad should not

Serve with a good fresh loaf of something that suits your taste, and a good bottle of chilled white wine; preferably somewhere oudoors in the shade with a nice breeze :-)

* new dry butter beans = last year's harvest. Old butter beans more than a year old simply don't sprout properly [only a proprtion will sprout at all and those that do rarely get to be more than weedy] and they really don't taste very good either.

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posted by ramtops on 19 Aug 06 - 6309 views


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