You guys – this Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad is next-level delicious. This recipe is another one that I brought back from my recent travels. I did not know about this dish until we traveled more to the Southern part of Tuscany. There, it is called the “Nicoise” salad of Tuscany (or simply – Tuscan tuna salad). Want to know something interesting? It is actually not tuna in the original salad but pulled pork.
Pork you might be asking? Yes, pork. Genuinely tastes like tuna though. This is mainly due to the mayonnaise, paired with lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil which provides this slightly distinct taste. I immediately fell in love with this salad for numerous reasons. For one, it has a really great texture. The celery and tomatoes add both flavor and crunch, whereas the olives provide a slightly salty note. I also added capers in order to draw out more of the “sea” flavor. There are croutons at the bottom for an additional texture profile. I also think that it would make a great salad to bring in for lunch or back to school. Perhaps keep the croutons on top though, rather than at the bottom when prepping in advance. That way, they do not become soggy.
As I wanted to make this dish vegan, I used jackfruit instead of pulled pork. If you have not come across jackfruit before, it has a similar texture and takes on different flavors (in this case from the dressing) as well whilst being completely vegan and gluten-free. Therefore it made a great alternative to either real tuna or pulled pork. For this salad, the white beans still provide an awesome level of protein to this dish, amongst other health benefits, of course, 😉.
Why is this Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad good for you?
White beans come in many varieties. The most common ones are cannellini beans, which are also often called white kidney beans. They are harvested both in North and South America. Cannellini beans have a bit of a nutty flavor and are a great addition to stews, soups, and chillis. White beans are particularly high in several micronutrients, such as copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Copper is awesome for supporting the making of red blood cells, and keeps both your nerve cells and immune system healthy. Iron is also involved in your red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body from your lungs. Potassium provides normal levels of fluid in our body.
In addition, as said above, white beans are a great source of protein and fiber. Beans are classified as an incomplete source of protein. Whereas they are great, they do not contain all 9 essential amino acids. You can pair an incomplete protein with nuts, seeds, and/or whole grains in order to get a complete one. I have written at length about this in my post “The Benefits of Protein“. Last but not least, beans also contain a whole load of fiber. I feel like I talk about this topic every week but it bears repeating 😂. Fiber is so beneficial for our gut health. It helps to eliminate easily, but it also acts as feeding ground for our good-gut bacteria. In addition, it has been positively correlated with heart health as it lowers your “bad” cholesterol levels. I would say – not too bad for a small mighty bean – am I right?!
How can I adjust this Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad to my dietary requirements?
This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free. Due to the beans used in this dish (that I do not recommend skipping), it is sadly not paleo-friendly.
Similar Recipes on the Blog
There are so many delicious salad recipes on the blog that are nourishing, crunchy, and with great texture!! Be sure to check out the following:
- Refreshing Corn Salad with Lime Dressing
- Easiest Yummy Chickpea Salad
- Jackfruit Fajita Salad
- Lentil Salad with Apple and Fennel
- Spicy Peanut Butter Noodle Salad
I hope you enjoy this more than delicious, easy, nourishing, and awesomely texture-like Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad. I cannot recommend this recipe enough – make it as a starter or double the amount as a main. As always, I love to hear what you think. You can either comment below and/or rate the recipe. Enjoy and happy-salad making!!