These recipes come from Casa Fiore #36, April-May 2008. I made the Tuna/Cannelini Bean Salad recently at some birthday picnics, and there was a request to share the recipe; the second recipe is wonderful and easy as well. Enjoy this excerpt from Casa Fiore #36!
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“Onion, clear as a planet, and destined to shine, constant constellation, round rose of water, upon the table of the poor.”
—from Ode to the Onion, Pablo Neruda
From the Cook
Ode to Celery
If I only had the words, I would attempt to match the fanciful musings of Neruda and wax poetic about simple yet sublime celery. Longtime readers of Casa Fiore have heard me sing the praises of these juicy and versatile stalks. Garland to King Tut in his tomb and cited in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, this oft overlooked veggie certainly warrants an ode unto itself. For the time being, please allow these two, easy, celery-based concoctions to bring poetry to your pallete!
Fiore’s Tuna and Cannelini Bean Salad
Not sure exactly where this one comes from, but probably inspired by something eaten in Italy or at an Italian relatives home. Fast, easy, hearty, there are really no set measurements or rules in the preparation, so I will give you the basics and tweak it as you like.
1. Rinse and drain 2 cans cannelini beans. Place in large mixing bowl. Add 2 tins good quality tuna fish canned in olive oil. Set aside.
2. Finely chop 1/2 of a medium size onion. Sweet onions or green onions or leeks could be a replacement and could be chopped more coarsely. Coarsely chop a mix of celery stalks and greens so you have about a cup of chopped celery. Parsley is an adequate but a lot less succulent substitute. Add onion and celery to cannelini and tuna mix.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar (about 1/4 cup each or to taste). I’ve had success with fresh lemon juice or white, balsamic, and rice wine vinegar. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and mix thoroughly, leaving some chunks of tuna intact. Serve alone or on a bed of your favorite greens. Serves 4.
Salade de Céleri
Found this in Saveur magazine (edition #98) and it’s really tasty!
1. Whisk together 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, and salt and ground pepper to taste in large salad bowl. Drizzle in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil while whisking constantly, to form a smooth, tart dressing.
2. Separately, pluck the leaves from a bunch of celery and set aside. Remove outer ribs of celery and roughly chop into 1/2”-3/4” pieces. (Reserve interior for another use.)
3. Add celery ribs and leaves to bowl with dressing and toss well to coat. Enjoy as a refreshing and zesty salad!