Hot weather calls for cool salads, and we can never have enough options. Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep the kitchen cool with a main dish salad. Here’s one to try that doesn’t even call for boiling pasta or  blanching vegetables or even turning on the stove. It relies on canned tuna and canned chick peas (garbanzo beans), and makes good use of garden herbs and produce. There are variations for different seasons, for instance in the winter slice up some sun-dried tomatoes and toss in some sliced Calamata olives. Here’s how to begin:

Lemony Tuna-Bean Salad

1 can (5 oz.) tuna drained
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans drained
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped lemon basil (you can use any variety of basil, but lemon is best)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced Vidalia onion
2 tablespoons diced chives

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil and next seven ingredients to make dressing. Fold in tuna, beans and tomato halves. Chill at least one hour and serve. Makes four servings.

Variations: Add thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes, sliced Calamata olives, quartered canned artichoke hearts, diced celery, chopped green or red pepper…whatever you like!

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