A big THANK YOU to my fellow blogger, Tuttacronaca for the Sweet Blogging Award. Here is my list of sweet bloggers
The rules for Super Sweet Blogging Award include:
- Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
- Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
- Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.
Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” (= 13)** blogs the award, a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.
Super Sweet Questions:
- Cookies or Cake?
Cookies… I love little one bite cookies, not big cookies:)
- Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla:) I love the flavor that vanilla beans give to anything! And the aroma from the vanilla bean is to die for!
- What is your favorite sweet treat?
Anything with lemon!!!
- When do you crave sweet things the most?
During the holidays:)
CONGRATULATIONS to all the following blogs:) Pick up your lovely SUPER SWEET BLOGGER AWARD:) And keep being SWEET:)
There you have it:) The Sweet Bloggers Award:) Of course, in my opinion you all are Super Sweet Bloggers even if you are not a blogger listed on this list:)
After all this sweetness we need something to cut the sweet…. so here is one of my favorite simple fresh dinners or you could use it for lunch:)
Imported Italian Tuna & Bean Salad
Gluten Free Recipe
I developed this recipe one day when I was hungry & wanted more than just a salad for dinner but honestly I did not feel like making anything else… so I came up with this:)
- 8 oz dried Navy Beans (this is half of a 1 lb package or 1/2 lb)
- 3 or 4 large branches of fresh thyme
- grey sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons capers
- 12 Kalamata olives
- 5 Spanish Queen Green Olives stuffed with Pimentos
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1 lemon zested & Juiced ( keep zest separate from juice)
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1 5oz can of Tonno Tuna in olive oil (this is very important… do not use tuna in water or plain oil..the olive oil is vital to the taste of the final outcome)
- 3-4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 big ripe garden fresh tomato
The beans take the longest time in this recipe overnight in fact. If you do not want to spend the time, then use a can of navy beans that you have rinsed well. As for the beaners out there…. Rinse and pick through your dried beans. I found a rock in mine when I made this recipe. Then place your beans in a medium sized bowl with enough warm water to cover them and about 2 inches above that point. Put a cover of some sort on the beans, I just used a plate that covered the top of the bowl or you could use cling film. Let the beans sit over night at room temperature. Overnight is really important for the beans, they need time to absorb the liquid and become nice and ready to cook:)
The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Then in a medium saucepan, place the beans and enough water to cover them plus about 2 inches more of water. Then put about 3 or 4 large branches of thyme on top of the beans. Bring the beans & thyme to a boil. Then cover with a lid and turn down to a low simmer for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes your beans should be nice and tender. If they are still hard then let them simmer for a little more time until they are tender. Once the beans are tender, drain them keep the thyme in the beans. Then place in bowl with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a few grinds of fresh black pepper and some grey sea salt (if your salt is course you do not need to crush it since the heat from the beans will dissolve the salt.) Then cover the beans and thyme and let it sit until it is cooled to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare the rest of your salad, placing everything in separate bowls or on a plate with enough room to separate each item. Cut your kalamata olives into quarters and slice your green olives in nice little rounds. Then chop your parsley very finely. Wash your parsley then dry it off with a clean towel or a paper towel; if you do not dry off your parsley before cutting it, you will just end up with a bunch of green mush:) Then dice your shallot very small.
Then make the vinaigrette. Into a small bowl, drain the olive oil from the Tonno tuna set aside. Then place a damp towel or paper towel under a medium high sided bowl, this will keep the bowl from sliding around while you whisk. To this bowl add the lemon juice. Then with a whisk, slowly add the the olive oil from the Tonno tuna. Make sure to do this slowly while you are whisking at the same time. The object is to make an emulsion with the lemon juice and olive oil. Continue to whisk as you add the extra 3 – 4 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. The amount of extra virgin olive oil will depend on the amount of olive oil in the tuna.
Once you have a nice emulsified vinaigrette, add some fine sea salt and about 4 grinds of fresh pepper. Then add the lemon zest, shallot, and parsley, whisk to combine. Taste to make sure you don’t need anymore seasoning. Add more seasoning if you need to do so.
By now your beans should be at room temperature. Take the thyme branches and shake them vigorously, the thyme leaves should just fall off into the beans. Then once most of the leaves are off the thyme branches discard the branch stems.
In a big bowl place the beans, capers, kalamata olives, and green olives. Toss gently with the vinaigrette; I like to do this with a spatula. Make sure to do this gently or you will have bean mush. Then add the tuna. Gently breaking up the tuna as you toss it.
Place the salad in the refrigerator for about an hour or so. Then about an hour before serving bring it to room temperature , at this point I like to toss spinach or arugula in the salad to saturate the greens with the salad.
Then serve with the saturated greens or with fresh greens and a few nice big thick slices of a ripe juicy tomato that has been drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of sea salt… and feel great about having such a healthy dinner:) This is lovely with a glass of red or white wine… the Tonno tuna & greens make it quite a bold dish.. yet it still goes great with white wine:) Got to love a dish that goes with read or white wine:)