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Bean, fennel, rocket and tuna

Tuna and beans are a staple in Italy, especially in Tuscany where cannellini beans originate. In this recipe, we've used fresh tuna for a slightly fancier version of an old favourite. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

200 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained 180 gm green beans, trimmed 250 gm truss cherry tomatoes ¼ fennel bulb, thinly sliced, plus fronds, to serve ½ Spanish onion, cut into thin wedges 60 gm (1/3 cup) Ligurian olives, pitted ½ cup torn flat-leaf parsley and rocket, to serve   Gremolata-poached tuna 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 500 gm piece skinless tuna loin 200 ml olive oil   Vinagreta 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp aged white wine vinegar ½ tsp fennel seeds, toasted


  • 01
  • Place beans in a saucepan, cover completely with cold water, bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until tender (40-50 minutes). Drain, set aside to cool.
  • 02
  • For gremolata-poached tuna, combine parsley, garlic and lemon rind in a bowl, mix well, season to taste, then place in a Cryovac plastic bag (see note). Add tuna loin, turn to coat evenly in herb mixture, then add olive oil and seal bag, pressing any excess air from bag. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, remove pan from heat and add bag to water. Stand until tuna is almost cooked through (35-40 minutes).
  • 03
  • For vinagreta, combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, blanch green beans in boiling water until tender (2-3 minutes). Drain, then refresh, drain and transfer to a bowl. Layer with remaining ingredients and beans, drizzle with vinagreta. Serve with gremolata-poached tuna.

Note You can also use two Ziploc bags, placed one inside the other. Seal both bags before adding to pan.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Aromatic white fiano.

Featured in

May 2010

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