Friday December 12
One of the classic cold Tuscan salads is white beans with sage and canned tuna, and we enjoy it in the summer. But now it's winter, so when we found that Lauren could come to dinner, we decided to make a special "deconstructed" hot version, with grilled albacore tuna steaks standing in for the canned stuff.
We began by soaking white Northern beans the night before, and started them in the slow cooker the next morning. After a couple of hours, we whizzed up a couple of garlic cloves with a dose of salt, a quartered onion, a small stalk of celery and its leaves, and eight or nine baby carrots that were the last from the garden in the robot-coupe, and stirred the minced vegetables into the beans. Then we buried some whole sprigs of sage and a one or two of parsley deep in there, and let it cook undisturbed all day.
As for the tuna steaks, we marinated them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and chopped parsley, and left them in the fridge.
When we and Lauren got home from a celebratory end-of-term happy hour at Myrtle's Punch House (with Steven, Daniel, Michael, Ari and Jennifer, Duncan and Liza - and too few chairs, but just enough fishhouse punch), we threw the tuna steaks on the grill pan, took the lid off the beans, removed the various sprigs, and added fresh chopped sage leaves and lots of salt. Sometimes the quickest meal is the one that has simmered the longest.
For dessert, we had sandwiches made out of Holt's halloween gingerbread and the leftover filling from his birthday blintzes, plus some applejack to wash it down. For something made completely out of tag ends, it tasted surprisingly well-planned; which goes for most of our meals.