Griddled tuna with cannellini bean and herb salad

We just love this fresh, summery dish with its bright colours and uplifting, zesty flavours. Easy to prepare and you can make the salad in advance too if you have guests round. Inspired by an early Jamie Oliver recipe and a firm favourite ever since.


  • 4 x 150-200g tuna steaks
  • 2 x 400g tinned cannellini beans
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fresh red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 10-12 silver skin marinated anchovies
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 8 cherry vine tomatoes, quartered (a mix of red and yellow works well)
  • A couple of handfuls of roughly chopped herbs; basil, dill, parsley, mint
  • 8 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • salt & pepper


  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook time: 3-4 mins
  • Total time: 25 mins max
  • Serves: 4


Drain and rinse the beans before tipping them into a large bowl. (If you prefer, you can use one tin of cannellini beans and one tin of borlotti beans.)

You can simmer the beans for 20 minutes in plenty of fresh water with some chopped onion and a sprig of parsley, to intensify their flavour. This also means you can serve the beans warm. But this is optional.

Add the chopped red onion, chilli, anchovies, avocado and tomatoes to the bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice before seasoning with salt & pepper and giving it all a big stir. 

Heat a griddle pan to hot. Rub one side of the tuna with olive oil before seasoning with salt & pepper and a sprinkle of lemon zest. Turn over and do the same to the other side. Place the tuna steaks in the pan and cook for no more than a couple of minutes on each side. You’ll need to judge this yourself as the speed at which fish cooks in a griddle pan can vary, but you’re aiming for a nicely charred outside and a lovely pink middle.

Toss the herbs through the bean salad before dividing between plates and topping off with the tuna steak. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

If you want to make it a bit more indulgent, try crumbling a big chunk of feta into the salad, or griddle some sliced halloumi along with the tuna to tear up and throw in just before serving. 


The chunky textures and big flavours in this dish means it can go with a red as well as a white. We enjoyed an Assyrtiko (white) but a light red went best – on this occasion the delicious Fondo Filara Nerello Mascalese 2015, 13% from Sicily (£12.50, The Wine Society). Delicate and refreshing but quite firm too, ideal with the dish.