Anything You Can Do, I Can Do...Too: Pizzeria Stella's Tuna & Ceci Beans

I'll admit it. I'm a total foodie! 

Living in Philadelphia, I'm so lucky in this respect. In the last thirty years, the city has transformed from "Cheesesteak Capitol" to a food lovers commune! Acclaimed restaurateur's such as Mark Vetri (
Vetri/Osteria), Steven Starr (Buddakhan/Continental) and our own Iron Chef, Jose Garces (Amada/Distrito), have tantalized Philly's taste buds and have put our city on the map when it comes to great eats. 

As a frequent patrons, my fiance and I sure do have our favorites but we love trying new places. So, last weekend we ventured out to Society Hill to try Steven Starr's newest restaurant,
Pizzeria Stella. Although I thought the pizza was excellent, I was wowed more by my antipasti order - Tuna & Ceci Beans. Although "ceci beans" is just a fancy way of saying chickpeas, the antipasti was so good that instead of just enjoying it, I spent more time trying to dissect the recipe. 

Sorry, Mr. Starr! This one needs some at-home replication. So, tonight I created my own version with satisfying results!

Here is the super-simple (and comparable) recipe breakdown:

1 can of Ceci Beans (Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas)

1 can of Solid Albacore Tuna (I used Wild Planet's Wild Caught/Low Mercury Tuna - available at Whole Foods.)
2 stalks finely chopped Organic Celery (I try to buy only organic celery because it is the most pesticide ridden veggie available!)
1/4 cup finely chopped Fresh Olives (I used fresh green olives because I didn't have Gaeta olives on hand.)
3/4 cup finely chopped Heirloom Tomatoes (I think Pizzeria Stella used finely chopped sundried tomatoes.)
1/4 cup finely chopped Red Onion
2 tbs. Olive Oil
4 tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
3 cloves finely chopped Garlic
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
10 large finely chopped Basil Leaves
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes on foiled baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients. Remove tomatoes from oven and allow to cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy alone or over salad greens.

I think this is a recipe replication that even Mr. Starr would be impressed with!


Bethany Streng said...

this sounds awesome! i may have to try it.