Bluefin Tuna and Cannellini White Bean Salad

With ingredients as special as Sicilian bluefin tuna fillets and organic cannellini white beans, you don’t need much else. This simple, luxurious salad is inspired by our amico Sasha Marx. It’s an excellent way to honor your bluefin tuna! Mild, creamy cannellini give a smooth canvas for the meaty, savory fish, while the Valpolicella vinegar-soaked onions lend a bright pop of acidity.

We especially love this recipe for its efficiency. You’ll use the vinegar marinade from the onions, the cooking water from the beans, and the extra virgin olive oil from the tuna to make the dressing. Together they form a silky, flavor-laden emulsion you’ll mop up with some bread at the end of your meal.


TIME: 30 minutes + bean soaking (12 hours) and cooking (1-1.5 hours)



  1. Soak the dried cannellini for 12 hours. Drain, then put them in a large pot and fill with water 2 inches higher than your beans. Add 1 tbsp of coarse sea salt and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours until the cannellini are tender. Keep the beans in their cooking liquid until ready to use. 
  2. While the beans cook, prepare the red onions. Soak the slices in ice cold water for 15 minutes to remove their bite. Drain thoroughly, then mix them with the valpolicella vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt. Allow to marinate for 5 minutes. 
  3. When you’re ready to compose your salad, drain the cooked cannellini, you should have about 4 cups. Put the cooked beans in a large bowl, reserving their cooking liquid.
  4. Drain the bluefin tuna, reserving the oil. Then, add half of the fillets to the bowl of cooked cannellini.
  5. Remove the red onions from their marinade and add them to the tuna/bean mixture.
  6. You should have about 1 tablespoon of vinegar-onion marinade remaining in the onion bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of bean-cooking liquid and a good grinding of black pepper. Slowly dribble in the reserved extra virgin olive oil from the jar of bluefin tuna, forming an emulsion. Taste and adjust if needed. 
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently mix with your wooden spoon.
  8. Just before serving, add the other half of bluefin tuna fillets (so you’ll have larger chunks in your salad) and mix in the chopped fresh parsley. 

You can make this salad ahead of time, just be sure to bring it up to room temperature and add the chopped parsley right before serving. If you’re feeling particularly lavish, take Serious Eats’ advice and try this recipe with Sicilian bluefin tuna Ventresca!

cannellini bean tuna salad ingredients