Salad For A Winter’s Day : Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

It was time again for my cannellini bean and tuna salad, the perfect salad for a Winter’s day. Oil packed tuna, tomato, celery heart, red onion, and calamata olives combine into a meaty refreshing satisfying salad with leftovers.

From, Salad for a winter day : cannallini bean and tuna salad

The picture is deceiving. I didn’t leave any on the plate.


Tuna, celery, and bean salad

Insalata di Tonno, Sedano, e Fagioli

Serves 4

“Canned Italian tuna packed in olive oil can be very fine with a tender, moist texture and rich tuna flavor. The best brands come packed in glass jars and are often available in Italian grocery stores.” But the best you can afford in other words. “Tuna, beans, and red onion are a classic combination. Here, tender celery adds a bit of crunch.” The tomatoes and olives are my craved addition.

1 small can (14oz) petite diced tomatoes

2 ½ cups drained cooked or 19 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (6 ½ oz) tuna packed in olive oil, drained

2 – 3 tender (inner most)celery ribs, sliced with the leaves

½ small red onion, peeled and chopped

3 TB extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 TB fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper

2 Tb chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

½ cup diced Calamata olives

  1. In medium bowl, combine beans, tuna, celery, onions, tomatoes and olives.

    Take care not to over-toss the tuna as you’ll lose the chunks. Add that at the very last perhaps.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper to taste until well blended.

  3. Shred some Romaine lettuce (crunchy) and place tuna mixture atop and drizzle dressing over salad. Sprinkle with parsley or celery greens. I make homemade pita chips and they add that extra needed crunch.

If you feel a sense of deja vous, I originally published this last May. Bon Appetite.

Messy Potatoes

Otherwise known as scalloped potatoes or Gratin Dauphinoise, messy potatoes are my favorite ‘go to’ potatoes for a side with dinner.

I have a mandolin. It’s a vegetable cutting guillotine that’s perfect for slicing potatoes thinly. Unfortunately, and no surprise here, a plastic part exploded rendering the guide useless. So I am back to using my knife skills, which are pretty decent, while I decide the de Buyer’s fate. I suspect it was bought from Wiliiam-Sonoma. And I have issues with them. I have yet to write that story but it’s a doozy.


My recipe is a simpleton’s version. But let me first share the comment and recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook.

“The scalloped potato dish is part of our culinary repertoire, and we hope it will be become part of yours too. There is something about the texture of the potatoes surrounded by creamy goodness and topped by golden brown cheese that wows people. It is perfect for a buffet supper or potluck: in our experience, it is the first thing to disappear. The technique of starting the potatoes in a saucepan of half-and-half and ending them in a buttered gratin dish comes from masterful Jacques Pépin.”

Ironically, in the book written by Jacques and Julia, he went on about using chicken stock which his wife and daughter loved. So I tried it. And it sucked.

Here’s the recipe from the Gourmet magazine for

Gratin Daupin(oise)

2 1/2 pounds  boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold (I use Yukons too)

3 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyère

Cut the potatoes, heat dairy product, add spices, add potatoes. All in pan, blah blah blah, 35 to 45 minutes in a 400° oven.

Here’s what I do differently. I use 2% milk, lots of butter, and sometimes I sauté onions first in my cast iron skillet before adding everything else, heating the milk and potatoes and butter with the potatoes and salt and nutmeg, and then throwing the whole thing in the oven to bake.There’s no separate buttered pan and there’s no loads of pepper and garlic. I do not add cheese to the top but sometimes paprika.

  And when the milk is gone and the top is brown, it’s done

And the reason they’re called messy potatoes at our house is because the skillet is trashed and usually “soaks” in the sink for two days before someone is brave enough to clean it.  Enjoy this veggies eaters and meat eaters alike.





Beautiful Buttermilk

Seems both my mother and my father in-law drank buttermilk when they were kids. With pepper on it. Like, ewwh. Although I can’t stomach the thought of drinking it straight up, my appreciation for this magical dairy product has increased over the last couple years.

Somehow this thick sour liquid creates the moistest creations. In fact, I refuse to make any quick breads that don’t include buttermilk in their recipe.  By quick breads, I mean biscuits, scones, pancakes, waffles, and banana bread.  And I thought I’d share a recipe or two with ya’ll of my favorite buttermilk creations.  These recipes using wheat flour don’t suck. Have to have some white to make them work though.



We grew up with this blended raw vegetable “soup”. I adore it. My twist on this is to add shrimp as well as the croutons and extra chunks of vegetables. There’s a sort of Seviche twist this way and makes it more of an appetizer. Crab would be fab too.

I chuckled to myself the other day when I realized I was doing the raw vegetable thing and didn’t feel like a weirdo. Like having a salad to fill you up without all that pesky chewing. Happy Summer Eating! (more…)

Faidley’s Crabcake Recipe