Soft and sharp salad of tuna and cannellini beans

This tuna salad is a variation on a Niçoise – using mushrooms instead of beans and boiled eggs – and together with the sage, mustard, capers and sundried tomatoes it has an earthy taste – perfect for autumn.

Recipe for soft and sharp salad of tuna and cannellini beans

Serves 4


  • 2 x 400g cans of cannellini beans
  • a few sage leaves
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
  • small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 80 ml/⅓ cup olive oil – use what’s in the tuna tin first, plus some good finishing oil
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • juice and zest of half a large lemon
  • 150g/5 oz mushrooms
  • 350g gross/240g net weight good quality tuna in olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper – or a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes
  • a small bunch of spring onions
  • 8 sundried tomatoes
  • 60g/⅓ cup of capers


  1. Drain the cannellini beans, and rinse under cold, running water. Put into a medium-sized attractive bowl.
  2. Crush the garlic with the salt and put into a small bowl. Add the olive oil (use what’s in the tuna tin first, supplement with your normal supply). Add the lemon juice and zest. Add the mustard, the anchovy paste and the pepper.
  3. Snip the most of the sage and all the parsley over the beans.
  4. Peel and chop the mushrooms (use also the stem), and add to the beans.
  5. Chop the sundried tomatoes, add to the beans.
  6. Add the tuna and capers to the beans.
  7. Snip the spring onions into the beans.
  8. Pour the dressing into the beans and toss.
  9. Serve, garnished with the remaining sage, and drizzled with some good, peppery finishing oil.
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