Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tuna and Green Beans with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

It was one of those nights when I didn't really have anything in the refrigerator and didn't know what I was going to eat for dinner. I wasn't scheduled to go the grocery store until the next day and it was cold outside so I didn't feel like making a quick run.

What I did have was about a pound of green beans I forgot to cook with another baked chicken I had bought after my most recent successful one. So I washed them, trimmed them, snapped them, and blanched them. Then I thought about what I could do with them.

I could cook them up with some tomatoes like I did here, but I wasn't really in the mood for that. So I went to my cookbooks and found a recipe for green beans vinaigrette. That appealed to me and I had everything on hand for vinaigrette so I thought about what else I could add.

I still had some slivered almonds in the freezer so I pulled those out. I had two blood oranges in the fridge that I had bought with some vague idea of, I don't know, maybe making a . . . vinaigrette.

So I had all the makings of a decent-sounding green bean salad-y kind of thing. But this was going to be dinner. I needed protein. I had some manchego cheese but that didn't seem substantial enough by itself. What else was there?

Oh yes, the can of imported Italian tonno (tuna to you) in olive oil. That had the right appeal.

So I toasted the almonds, whipped up the vinaigrette, and drained the tuna. I had meant to cook the beans a little more, so I would have more of a green beans almondine kind of thing, but I was so hungry I forgot. Instead, I ended up with something approaching more of a Nicoise salad. All that was missing were some olives, which I would have used if I'd had any on hand. Some green onions would also add to the dish.

This made a lovely light supper. It was good enough that I would serve it to guests for lunch. Of course, I forgot all about the manchego cheese, but I think I liked it just fine without it.

1 lb. green beans, washed, trimmed and snapped into 1-1/2" pieces
1 can imported Italian tuna in oil
sliced green onions
toasted sliced almonds
green or black olives (or both), sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Blood Orange Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
juice from 1 blood orange
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, mashed (with salt)

For Blood Orange Vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, blood orange juice and mustard in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk ingredients together, then slowly add the vegetable and olive oils, whisking steadily the whole time. Add the garlic (and salt and pepper to taste if you like). Taste, and adjust with more olive oil or vinegar if needed. Let stand at least half an hour before serving.

Bring a pot of salted water to a roiling boil. Add the green beans. Cover, turn off the heat, and let stand for five minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Put the beans in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of the Blood Orange Vinaigrette. Let the beans marinate in the vinaigrette for at least fifteen minutes. Add the scallions, salt, and pepper and stir together just before serving.

Drain tuna. Put it in a bowl, separating the pieces so they are bite-sized.

Place the marinated beans on a serving platter, or on individual serving plates. Arrange the tuna on top, then sprinkle the almonds and olives over the salad. Serve with bread and butter.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...