Summer evenings

Looking for quick and easy ingredients to pull together for dinner? Kim Walker of Woman’s Day has come up with the answer with a nice, healthy blend of flavors.

For Tuna and White Bean Salad, you need steamed green beans, canned tuna (St Jude’s!) oil and red wine vinegar, white beans and and cherry tomatoes. The recipe comes from the Woman’s Day Cookbook – and it’s easy and delicious!

Beans were among the first of cultivated crops, reports “With the onset of the age of European exploration came an increased exchange of beans and grains, as well as other potential crops, and as a result, the range of possibilities was expanded,” explains an  article by Purcell Mountain Farms, which grows a variety of beans and other culinary delights in nearby northern Idaho.  Like the F/V St Jude, Purcell is a family-owned farm and the website demonstrates how much they care about their land and farm.

Writing about beans calls to mind the haunting poem about aging, memory and poverty – “The Bean Eaters,”  by Gwendolyn Brooks:

“They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair….”

And so dinner is often a casual affair at our home, too.  Another historical reference to white beans is tied to cooking during the Civil War. The original title of the chef cooking for the troops was, “It is the bean, that we mean, so white and lean.”

Food and poetry – they go hand in hand.

Photo of white beans courtesy of Rasbak and Wikimedia Commons. Photo of African American chef cooking beans courtesy of the Robert N. Dennis collection and Wikimedia Commons. 

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