Tuna, White Beans, Artichokes and the “Presto Chango” Effect

Tuna, White Beans, Artichokes and the “Presto Chango” Effect

We decided to paint the kitchen ourselves this past weekend. The quotes we were getting to do the job seemed over the top ridiculous.

Personally, I enjoy painting the rooms of my dwelling space.

I have learned to detest wallpaper and love the instant gratification of paint.

Immediate gratification.

The “Presto Chango” Effect.

Unless something technical needs to be done; I can paint walls and cabinets like a pro. Based upon what we found while doing this project, we certainly did it better than the last “pro” who was hired to paint.

I love doing it. There is another mental space I go to when doing these kind of projects. It is a fun place to go and I don’t stay long so it is best to take advantage when it comes around.

“Let’s go buy paint and get going ” we discussed one morning.

So off we went to the paint store to buy what we needed to transform the kitchen.

Robert was amazed as to how much we actually were able to do in a days time. We began on Saturday, mid-morning, and finished Monday around dinner time, after work.

Over last weekend we dismantled the kitchen; removed cabinet doors and hinges; and such.

This is how the sequence went: Degrease, wash, dry, sand, damp mop dust, dry, prime, paint 2 coats, let dry.

The kitchen is now back in working order and feels great to be cooking again.

Presto Chango. Gotta love it.

This is an easy recipe when you want something quick and easy. (And don’t want to mess up the kitchen.)

The entire dish is easily made in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

You only need a few ingredients.

Cannellini Beans, canned tuna, artichoke hearts, lemon and pasta and cheese if you like.

These are the major ingredients: Artichoke hearts, cannellini beans, anchovies, pasta, here we are using “orecchiette” and Tuna, which is not pictured.

Tuna, White Beans, Artichokes and Pasta

  • 1 – 2 ounce tin of anchovies in oil
  • 1/2 onion or shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 – 5 ounce can of “Wild Planet” wild caught tuna. This tuna is not oil packed. (Use your favorite Tuna)
  • 1-14 ounce can of artichoke hearts – packed in water, not oil
  • 1-15 ounce can Bushes Cannellini Beans (also known as white kidney beans)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 package of your favorite pasta shape. I like Orecchiette for this because of the shape and the ability to hold on to sauce. (The pasta looks like little hats when cooked.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan or Asiago cheese to shred over top

Bring the water for the pasta to a boil, salt the water and add pasta.

Note how long the pasta takes to cook so it does not get over done and mushy.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies and saute until they “dissolve” while being cooked.

Add the  onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant.

Add the artichokes, beans and tuna and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.

Add the lemon zest and juice.

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

When the pasta is done, drain and fold it into the pan with the other ingredients.

Top with shredded cheese and serve.

A salad on the side rounds the meal out nicely.

Tuna, white beans and artichoke pasta

Fresh Curried Tuna Salad

This simple recipe for Fresh Curried Tuna Salad can be used in several different ways. It is a nice spin on traditional tuna salad.

Choose high quality fresh tuna – fresh really does make a difference.

The first time I tried this recipe, it was immediately taken back and put on my restaurant’s menu. It became a best seller. While I no longer have my restaurant, it is a permanent part of my recipe repertoire.

Yes, it is that good. Try it, you’ll see!

Side note: You can use canned tuna for this salad if you want. While the taste and texture of fresh tuna is amazing, canned tuna also makes a tasty salad.

Squeeze the lime juice into the dressing if you are using canned tuna instead of fresh tuna.

For a complete twist on everything, substitute Salmon for tuna.

Fresh Curried Tuna Salad

1 pound (#) fresh tuna loin
Juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon madras curry powder
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

Squeeze the lime juice over the fresh tuna, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the fish in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes – for 1″ thick piece of tuna.

  • Time it more or less, depending upon the thickness of the fish.
  • You want a trace of pink left in the fish so as not to over-cook it and make the fish dry.

While the tuna is cooking, mix all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Remove the fish from the oven. Cut into medium or small dice and cool.

Add the tuna to the dressing and serve as desired.

Serving Suggestions for Fresh Curried Tuna Salad

Top your favorite sandwich roll

  • With the salad, lettuce and tomato
  • Don’t forget the sweet pickle

Stuff a tomato

  • Cut the top from a tomato
  • Scoop out the insides
  • Turn upside down on a paper towel for 10 minutes to drain
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Fill with Fresh Curried Tuna Salad
  • Garnish plate with lettuce, chopped eggs, etc.

My most favorite way to serve this:

Fresh Curried Tuna Salad Nicoise Style

Salad Nicoise is a classic French salad. It is presented with tuna, potatoes, green beans, eggs, tomato and a wonderful light vinaigrette seasoned with mustard.

To create this lovely salad, boil some new potatoes in salted water until done.

For this salad, I used tri-colored new potatoes: white, red and blue. It makes an attractive color contrast on the plate.

Once the potatoes are drained, dress them while still warm with Mustard Vinaigrette. Cool.

The recipe for Mustard Vinaigrette is at the end of this post

Steam some green beans until tender; dress these with the Mustard Vinaigrette white still warm. Cool.

Line a plate with lettuce leaves and a small mound of cut salad greens.

Arrange the plate with Fresh Curried Tuna Salad, potatoes and green beans.

Complete the salad presentation with Nicoise or Kalamata olives (pitted of course), tomato wedges, chopped hard-boiled eggs and cucumber and anchovies, if desired.

Salad Nicoise makes a great dinner entrée. This is one of my all time favorite meals.

If you ever find yourself in Paris, or anywhere in France, it is highly recommended you indulge in one there. They vary somewhat from region to region, but are always delicious.

I hope you enjoy making and eating Fresh Curried Tuna Salad.

Salad Nicoise

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Whisk all ingredients, but not the oil, in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the oil until well blended.