Another fantastic Italian classic: “Beans, mackerel and onion salad“! Traditionally it would be “Beans tuna and onions” but then as it happens that one day you are a bit dazed, and when checking the pantry you see some canned fish. And then it happens that you do not even read the label, but the story goes that instead of canned tuna it was canned mackerel (damn packaging), so what to do? Easy you just invent the “Beans, mackerel and onion salad” which is done exactly in the same way of the more traditional “Beans tuna and onions”. So there you have it, two recipes to the price of one! The procedure is super easy and can be a main course or even a starter, it depends how much you put on the plate, and with some little tricks (the onion trick 😉 ) you can prepare it for your guests or make it into a party food … did I mention you can get it ready in advance?
Mmmm, I know what you are thinking now: ya ya, but raw onions? They are too strong, then why don’t you read my article on “Raw onion: how to remove the pungency” and let me know!
So just to recap: this recipe is easy, quick, cheap, it can be prepared ahead of time and can please a crowd… Do you want me to start on how delicious it is (of course it is) or on how nutritious and healthy is? Beans and mackerel provide fantastic quality of proteins, mackerel is also super rich of vitamin B12 and magnesium and the onions provide a good quantity of vitamin C.
Now you tell me one reason not to make it!
- 400 g canned red beans or pinto beans
- 1 small red or white onion
- 250 g canned mackerel
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh parsley finely chopped
- Get the onion ready by slicing it very thin, and maybe you want try this to get rid of onios strong pungency.
- Beans: I have used canned beans, that if they are of good quality and cooked properly are an excellent choice. I have used the steamed kind. Remember anytime you use some canned vegetable to rinse it thoroughly under cold water. Just put the beans in a colander and rinse them. Let them drip a few minutes before using them.
- For the mackerel: drain it from the oil and tap it a little dry. Alternatively you could use the one preseved in water but it tends to be of a little drier consistency.
- In a glass bowl put the first the beans with the onions (patted dry) and season it with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and some finely chopped parsley.
- Add the mackerel last. If you mix it too much it will tend to disintegrate into a mush.
- If you are using canned tuna, follow exactly the same steps.
- It lasts a few days in the fridge, and if done ahead of time it gets more flavour.
- You can serve it as main dish or a starter, really it depends on how much you put on the plate.
This post is also available in: Italian