We all have kitchen standbys: recipes we’ve cooked a hundred times and can throw together without thinking. Standbys are delicious and turn out well even when we’re tired or inattentive.
One of my reliable standbys is white beans, baked with olive oil, garlic, sage, tuna, and lemon juice. I’ve never been disappointed by baked tuna and beans, and rely on it when the refrigerator is bare and I’m too lazy to go shopping. It’s made entirely with pantry staples and takes 5-10 minutes to put together and less than an hour to bake.
I usually make Baked White Beans with Tuna and Sage using canned cannellini beans, but have also made it with Great Northern or navy beans. For tuna, I prefer canned albacore packed in water, but any kind of tuna will do. The only ingredients I use each and every time are fresh lemons and fresh garlic; their bright flavors are necessary to the recipe’s success.
When people hear we live in Alaska, they want to know how we survive the cold. For me, cold is a minor inconvenience; short winter days and too much darkness take more of a toll.
To combat winter blues, I move live herbs and flowers into our bedroom. They reside on stainless shelves, with grow lights on a timer set for 6:30 in the morning. I wake up to bright lights and green plants, starting my day in a better mood than when I used to wake in a pitch black room. The bonus is having fresh herbs for cooking. It’s well worth the extra electricity.
During winters past, I’ve relied on dried rubbed sage to season tuna and beans, but this year we brought fresh sage in from the garden to overwinter. It’s growing in the bedroom along with parsley, rosemary, thyme, and the geraniums that have been blooming since late May.