Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tuna, Potatoes, and Green Beans with Pesto

This recipe is my blend of the traditional Ligurian dish Trofie al Pesto and French classic Salad Niçoise. The farmers' market is full of beautiful small potatoes, fresh, crisp green beans, and big bags of fresh, fragrant basil, so this hybrid was just begging to be made. I bought green beans and potatoes specifically for this dish, but it is also a great way to use up leftovers. The hearty roasted potatoes and crispy green beans are brought together beautifully in fresh and rich pesto, becoming a complete meal with the addition of tuna. Although wonderful with still-warm vegetables, it is also terrific at room temperature and can be made ahead, perfect for summer meals. Subtract the tuna for a dynamite side dish, or combine just the tuna and pesto for a fresh new take on tuna salad. This simple, flavorful dish makes for an elegant summer dinner for two, a great dish to pack for a picnic or bring to a barbecue and is sure to become a new staple in your summer menu.

Tuna, Potatoes, and Green Beans with Pesto
serves 2

1.5 cups packed basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
One 5-ounce can tuna, drained
8 oz. haricots verts, trimmed and steamed to crisp-tender
8 oz. baby fingerling or red potatoes, halved and roasted

1. Make the pesto: Process basil, oil, cheese, nuts, and garlic in a food processor until finely ground. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

2. Divide roasted potatoes evenly between two plates or bowls and top with half of the green beans. In a separate bowl, mix tuna and pesto together thoroughly and place half of the tuna mixture on top of each plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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