We are both big fans of Delia Smith’s White Bean and Tuna Fish Salad which we have made throughout many summers over the years, adapting it slightly here and there dependant on what we have to hand, but always trying to keep it simple. It often tempting with salads to throw in a bit of everything, but this is one that benefits from a select number of ingredients.
I wondered whether I could adapt this recipe using my dried homegrown borlotti beans rather than the butter beans we normally use, and I’m pleased to say it worked really well. The lemon (or lime) dressing is a must.
If using dried beans, soak half a bowl of them overnight in water (top the bowl up with cold water to just below the rim). When fully rehydrated, drain and put them in a saucepan with fresh water and bring to a fast boil for 10 mins, then turn down the heat to a simmer and carry on cooking for about an hour, or until the beans are soft. You could also use 1 can of borlotti beans.
Drain and add to a bowl with 1 can of drained tuna fish, 1 sliced avocado, half a red onion – sliced, a handful of sliced black olives and a few cubes of feta cheese.
For the dressing, squeeze the juice from half a lemon or lime, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, a grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt, whisk together until creamy and pour over the salad. Turn the salad ingredients over in the dressing to coat and serve with crusty bread.