Albacore Tuna Conserva Salad with Cannellini Beans & House Giardiniera

Featured: Oregon Albacore Tuna

Chef Cathy Whims, Nostrana

Ingredients part 1

Olive Oil Poached Tuna Conserva

  • 1.5 lbs fresh albacore tuna, brought just to room temperature
  • 1 qt. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, whole
  • The peel of one lemon (peeled with a vegetable peeler, without the white pith)

Baked Cannellini Beans

  • 2 ½ cups dried corona beans, or cannellini or Gigante beans
  • 10 cups water for soaking
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbs coarse sea salt

Giardiniera and Plating ingredients continued below in Ingredients Part 2

Instructions Part 1

Olive Oil Poached Tuna Conserva

  • Cut fish into 1” thick, 6-7 oz. portions
  • Put oil in a saucepan that will hold the fish fillets in a single layer. Add all the aromatic ingredients and heat on low heat to 150 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the fish and adjust heat to maintain a temperature of about 130 degrees F. It will take about 8-10 minutes for tuna to be done. It should be just opaque almost throughout. Let tuna cool in oil and refrigerate in its’ oil. It will keep for several days. The oil, kept refrigerated, can be strained and used once more for poaching more tuna (do not add any more herbs, etc. and discard when tuna is used.).

Baked Cannellini Beans

  • Soak beans in water at least 8 hours or overnight at room temperature (if longer, soak in the refrigerator).
  • Drain beans and place in a 3-quart saucepan and cover with 10 cups of fresh water.
  • Add herbs, garlic and olive oil, bring to a boil, skim off any scum that forms, cover and simmer over the lowest possible heat until tender.
  • (Alternatively, the beans can be brought to a simmer, placed in a 250 degree F oven, covered and cooked until tender).
  • Cool beans for 15 minutes in their liquid before adding salt to taste.

Giardiniera and Plating instructions continued below in Instructions Part 2

Ingredients part 2


Adapted from Quick Pickles, by Chris Schlesinger

  • 8 cups total of any of the following vegetables in season
    • Carrots, peeled and cut into 4” strips
    • Red bell peppers, seeded and cut to strips lengthwise
    • Radishes, whole or halved
    • Celery, cut into 4” strips
    • Cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
    • Baby turnips, trimmed whole
  • 7 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbs fresh oregano and thyme sprigs
  • 3 cups champagne vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  •  2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns



  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil poached tuna, drained and oil reserved and strained
  • Corona beans, drained
  • Giardiniera
  • Black peppercorns in a peppermill

Instructions Part 2


  • In a large non-reactive container combine vegetables with the garlic and fresh herbs and mix well.
  • In a medium non-reactive saucepan combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce to low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
  • Immediately pour hot vinegar mixture over the vegetables and mix gently. Allow to cool at room temperature, uncovered, then cover and refrigerate. The pickle tasted best in 3 days and will last for a month, covered and refrigerated.


  • Soak onion in cold water, squeezing with your hands and changing water every 10 minutes, until sweet and mild, about one hour. Drain well.
  • Combine beans and tuna and moisten generously with reserved oil. Arrange on a platter, top with the onion and garnish with giardiniera, drizzling a little of its pickling juice.
  • Garnish with red onion and grind black pepper over salad. Serve at room temperature.