♥ ♥ ♥

white bean, tuna & pine nut bruschetta

In snacks, year-round on 5 April, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I’ve eaten my way through the emergency kit I so painstakingly assembled after the Christchurch earthquake. Er, well, at least the edible components of it. It started on Sunday when I had this insatiable chocolate craving and broke into the chocolate macadamia block nestled beneath spare undies, torch, deodorant, canned food, toothpaste.* And then yesterday happened and I came home to the sudden unmistakable reality of having no food in the house. For the second week in a row I hadn’t gone to the Sunday market (when did I become such a creature of routine?!) and the closest thing to fresh produce I had was a half-wilted bag of spinach and the potted herbs on my balcony.

And it was sort of an emergency: I was hungry, tired, things were starting to grate on me in the same way as that guy flailing (dancing?) in front of me at the last gig I went to, all shoulders arms elbows, throwing flecks of sweat my way. Rage.  It’s not often an empty stomach brings forth memories of bad crowds and other small annoyances, but there you go. I’d been struck by the dreaded hangrrr Sasa so often warns about.

So the need to Eat Something Now coupled with the lack of fresh food in my pantry led me to that same trusty emergency kit that had so conveniently been there for me with chocolate the night before, where I found cans of beans and tuna, and toiletries (ooh, I was running low on soap!). Score. And since I always have half-eaten loaves of stale bread in the cupboard this bruschetta quickly took shape. In under 10 minutes I had depleted my emergency kit** and was sitting down to this. Crisis averted, bad-crowd memories dissipated.

This is simple stuff, and you could easily play around with the components to make it fancier, but in a pinch it’s about as good as it gets. Soft, almost-creamy beans, meaty tuna, flecks of parsley and nutty parmesan, coated in this spicy-lemony-garlicky dressing that’s just as much revitalising as it is comforting.

*yeah, I didn’t say my emergency kit was the best-organised. It’s basically a bag full of random stuff I hope might be useful in an emergency. Now minus most of the food.

**and I realise now that 1 can of tuna, 1 can of beans and a block of chocolate is probably woefully inadequate for an emergency kit. However, it does make for a pretty satisfying meal.


Heat a knob of butter and a generous swirl of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Thinly slice 1-2 cloves of garlic and gently fry in the butter and olive oil along with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a generous sprinkle of pine nuts. Add 1 can of white beans* (drained and rinsed), a can of tuna (drained) and a handful of chopped parsley. Squeeze the juice of 1 or 2 lemons over everything, season with salt and pepper to taste, give it a good stir so that the beans and tuna are coated with the garlicky oil.

Meanwhile, toast some sliced, day-old** baguette (another way to use up stale bread in the pantry!).*** When it’s nice and crisp, top with the tuna & bean mixture and grate a bit of parmesan over the top. Easy!

*cannellini, for example

**Ha! Feel free to take a liberal reading of this. The bread I used was way more than a day old… I wanted it nice and crispy, so stale was fine.

***I’m forever burning stale slices of baguette in the toaster so I usually do this in the oven, with a drizzle of butter on top.

  1. Simple, delicious, comforting & even nutritious to boot!…so good to be able to whip something up quickly when the dreaded hangrrr strikes!

  2. I’d had settled for this during the earthquake aftermath. Instead my good samaritan rustled up crackers, cheese and home made plum sauce. Unfortuantly all I wanted was a cuppa and didn’t get that till more than 24 hours later. So don’t forget to put tea bags and camp stove when you restock!

  3. Argh, the hangrrr! Luckily, you saved the day. Be sure to stock up though, in case disaster strikes again, you never know and I don’t want to be held responsible ;P

  4. this is right up my alley, one my favourite in a hurry dinners is toast with tuna, beetroot, gherkins, mayo (always in the pantry) and anything else lying around …. yum

  5. I consider your 2 kit raids to be emergencies. Maybe not earthquake size emergencies, but emergencies nonetheless. Besides, now you know that beans and tuna and stale bread can play well if you ever do need to use your emergency kit. A gourmet meal meal during a real disaster is a good trick to tuck up any cook’s sleeve.

  6. I love that your emergency kit has Sirena tuna in it — the best tuna tin ever!

  7. Maybe it can be considered an emergency case when hunger strikes ;)
    I like this kind of small bites !

  8. Mairi: Ooh yes, I forgot about nutritious ;) But I agree. Quick and delicious is key when you’re low on patience and high on hunger.

    Domestic Executive: Homemade plum sauce, now there’s a good thing for emergency eating. Duly noted on the tea bags and camp stove. I can see it making a huge difference!

    Sasa: Yes indeed! I have been naughty and haven’t restocked yet but will do this weekend (and include more food next time).

    Paula: Oh yum, gherkins would be perfect with something like this too. Just a bit of bite and crunch, and so easy to store… adding it to my (new) emergency kit shopping list :)

    budafist: You’re right. Plus, you know, you need a small emergency to practice what you’ll do in a bigger one – I’ll just think of this as a test run ;)

    Five Course Garden: ooh I know, so good! I thought about it when putting the kit together and decided in the event of a disaster I’d rather have something I love. Plus the cans are so cheery and colourful!

    Vanille: yes, a little personal emergency, shared only by me (and those unlucky enough to be around me… though fortunately for my loved ones I was alone at the time!)

  9. Your posts are always just so yum.

    I’d call this emergency kit test run a success! :)

  10. Well at least you know you can whip upmsomething tasty with your rations. We only have water and rice in our emergency kit so far so nothing to tempt us to break into it.

  11. Mel- thanks!! :)

    Peasepudding: water and rice sounds sensible and could go a long way, a lot longer than my single cans of tuna and beans ;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: