Tag Archives: capers

Summer: Asparagus, Tuna & Bean Salad

Summer is here, and so are all lighter meals, which is the reason for this salad.  That, and I had a huge craving for tuna!

Summer is one of those seasons that blows by us, it always seems far too brief.  I remind myself to enjoy it- the outdoors, the warm weather (or humidity), the hot sun, and the long days.  It’s that time of the year when we allow some of our obligations to slip away a little (or put off for another day or two).  Instead, we spend it with our friends and family, outdoors.  Sometimes it’s those BBQ’s on our porches, or happy hours outside on gorgeous Thursday afternoons; other times it’s reading by a tree, or enjoy the sand between our toes at the beach.  Yes, that’s what summer is all about.  So keep reminding yourself to sip some cocktails with your friends, linger over a couple more pages in that book, stargaze, daydream or enjoy a nap in the sun.

Summer also brings amazing vegetables (and fruits) that we definitely need to take advantage of- asparagus being one of them.  So go to your farmer’s market, grab a bunch of asparagus, and throw together this salad.  The tuna can be exchanged for chicken (or none of the above).  Cannellini beans can also be substituted for something else that works for you.  Then, take that salad outside with a glass of wine, relax, and enjoy!  Don’t let summer slip away!

Asparagus, Tuna & Bean Salad
Adapted from: Cooking Light (April 2011)

1 bunch of asparagus (about 30), washed & cut into thirds
3 tbsp capers
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter, melted
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 tomatoes, diced
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 head of bibb lettuce (feel free to use others)
1 (5 oz) can tuna, drained

Heat water in a small pot.  Once the water is boiling, steam the asparagus, covered, for about 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water, drain.

In a small bowl combine: capers, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper.  Stir well until all of the ingredients are combined.

In a large bowl combine the asparagus, tomatoes, white beans and the juice mixture.  Chop up the lettuce into smaller pieces.  Add the vegetable and juice mixture on top.  Lastly, add pieces of the tuna over the salad.

Roasted Mushrooms with Parsley

I know there are many of you out there that do not like mushrooms.  I think all of you will change your minds…once you eat this!

This appetizer can withstand the test of time, and will always be there in your back pocket when you have last minute visitors.  It’s not the trendiest appetizer (like cupcakes are for dessert), but it’s ridiculously easy to make!  It provides a great foundation for the other appetizers which you will leave out for your guests.  It’s the one appetizer than can be served warm or if it’s a little cooler it will still taste great.  It’s easy to prep ahead of time (wait to add the oil right before putting it into the over).  Good and simple is what sustains you when you have a million things to cook (or just 3!).

I tried out these mushrooms a couple of months ago- and they were a hit.  I made them again when we had friends over for dinner this past Saturday.  Both times they had disappeared!  And all of the thanks goes to Smitten Kitchen.

Roasted Mushrooms with Parsley
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

1 lbs crimini mushrooms (halved if they are big)
4 tbsp capers
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
5 tbsp butter, chopped into small pieces
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Preheat over to 450°F.  Toss the mushrooms, capers, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Pour into a oven-proof dish, or a baking sheet (that has edges).  Sprinkle butter on top.  Roast for about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.

Once you take them out, toss in the lemon juice and parsley.  Set it out with some toothpicks, so it’s easier to eat!