March 28, 2010
I sometimes daydream about owning a little bakery cafe. In my next life. A friendly place where everyone knows your name. Bob would stroll in at 6:05 am for a black coffee, a slice of banana bread and a newspaper. Kate would stop by at 1:30 for a lemonade, a sandwich and a chat. Susan would call ahead twice a month to order roasted beet salad or rolls for her next dinner party. It would have butter yellow walls and crisp white trim, mismatched chairs, chalkboard menus and vintage style dishes. (Ok, perhaps I daydream about this a bit too much.) We’d be that place in the neighborhood with the best latte. The best cinnamon chip scone. The best sweet potato bisque. The best tuna sandwich.
In a world where the standard menu tuna sandwich too often promises soggy mayo-laden mush scooped between some limp white bread, this Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Sandwich deserves praise. It’s mayo-less! It has flavor! It has texture! It has lemon and basil and kalamata olives and white bean spread! Seriously, what’s not to love about this sandwich? My taste buds did a happy dance. When I own that little cafe (wink), you’ll see some variation of this sandwich on the chalkboard menu.
Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Sandwiches(Adapted from Gourmet)
- 1 (14- to 15-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 T chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For tuna salad
- 2 (5-oz) cans Italian tuna in oil, drained (2 T oil reserved)
- 2 T finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 2 T finely chopped red onion
- 1-2 T fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 slices hearty whole grain bread (3/4 inch thick)
- Fresh arugula
Coarsely mash beans with a fork in a bowl, then stir in garlic, lemon juice, oil, basil, salt and pepper.
Flake tuna in a bowl with a fork, then stir in basil, olives, celery, onion, reserved oil, lemon juice and pepper until combined.
Spoon one fourth of bean mixture on 1 slice of bread, then top with one fourth of tuna salad, some arugula, and a slice of bread. Make 3 more sandwiches in same manner.
Makes 4 sandwiches.