This is one of my new favorite dishes to make and has gone into frequent rotation...tuna bread salad. I got this dish from Melissa D'Arabian, the current "Food Network Star". Now, I will admit that Melissa is not the most entertaining person to watch and she is still getting the hang of being on television. But I have made almost everything she has put on the air and it is always simple, easy and surprisingly delicious. She has four very young children, and I can tell by her recipes! I always look to her when I need something super easy and she has yet to let me down. I was VERY surprised by this one...I am not a giant tuna fan and never think to cook with it. This dish is not beautiful to look at, but I was blown away by how yummy it turned out! This dish is very cheap, very filling and involves NO cooking. It tastes like something you would get at a restaurant! A couple of things; first of all, I double this recipe. One whole can of the beans works great (I drain and rinse them before adding to the salad), one pint of cherry tomatoes, the whole baguette...you get the picture. Doubling it makes the perfect amount for a main course and then to have lunch the following day for both me and Jer. This recipe is even yummier the next day after being in the fridge, the perfect cold salad. The flavors just get better! Also, I toast the bread pieces first with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. The bread holds up better with a slight crunch to it and does not turn into mush. I don't know about you, but I never have stale bread sitting around...toasting it works much better! :-) Here is the recipe, but this is the single version...don't forget to double it! (unless you are very skinny folks or something insane like that) hehehe!
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked great Northern white beans
1 (5 to 6-ounce) can white tuna, packed in oil, drained
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
1/2 long baguette, cut into cubes (toasted)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (or oregano)
In medium serving bowl, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit for 10 minutes before adding the beans, tuna, shallots and olives. Just before serving, mix in the bread cubes and combine gently. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle in the oil, whisking to blend. Pour over the salad just before serving. Add the basil and toss. Taste for seasoning before serving.