I love to travel. One of my favorite pastimes when traveling is to visit food markets and grocery stores to see what our world neighbors are eating. While the food in some locations is more “exotic” than others, I still find food items and eating habits to differ significantly from one country to another.
While open-air markets are my passion, you really can’t get to know a country’s eating habits without visiting their supermarkets. One of my favorites in England is Waitrose. While there are plenty of other well-known chains and specialty boutiques worth a detour, Waitrose is “where it is happening” for most families. In particular, I always make a point of picking up the FREE Waitrose Food magazine which is chock full of excellent and healthy recipes.
While I could speak at length comparing Waitrose to Wholefoods (for instance), I think it is fair to say that British shoppers are exposed to a far wider variety of prepared foods than most American shoppers. While many U.S. supermarkets now feature salad bars and hot-food entrees, Waitrose seems to have a far wider variety of prepared foods that one generally takes home to reheat and serve to the family.
Unless you are planning to visit London to enjoy these prepared meals yourself, I am featuring a wonderful recipe from the Waitrose April Food Magazine, “Borlotti bean and tuna salad with balsamic roast onions.” This Waitrose recipe is reprinted below and we have simply substituted fresh cranberry beans (frozen) for the borlotti beans and added our own balsamic vinegar, olive oil and bottled tuna.
Cranberry Bean and Tuna Salad
- 2 red onions thickly sliced into rings
- 2 tablespoons of Gourmet Living California EVOO
- 1 lemon
- pinch of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of Gourmet Living balsamic vinegar
- 100 grams of tender-stem broccoli trimmed
- 400 grams of cooked cranberry beans aka borlotti beans drained and rinsed if canned)
- 1 celery heart thinly sliced
- large handful of fresh pitted black olives
- chopped leaf parsley to garnish
- 200 grams of tuna steak in olive oil small bottle
- Drain and rinse the borlotti beans (I ONLY USE FRESH CRANBERRY BEANS), then heat them in a saucepan or in the microwave until warmed through.Add the garlic, chilli and lemon zest, then stir in 2½ tbsp olive oil from the jar of tuna; season well. Give the borlotti beans 15 minutes to absorb the flavours of the dressing as they cool.Drain the tuna and break it into large chunks. Toss the borlotti beans, celery and rocket in a large bowl, then gently fold in the tuna.