Looking back on my life, there are a few things I regret-number one just might be that I refused to eat tuna and, more importantly, TUNA MELTS for my entire life until just a few months ago. Sure, I would eat tuna at a sushi restaurant, but canned tuna? EWWWW, I’m just too good for that, that is below my food standards, what kind of heathen are you?! was my general response. (Anybody with me on this?) Creamy and sharp tuna salad, melty cheese, buttery toasted bread and a pop from jalapeños and you can now consider me a tuna melt convert. I like to buy high-quality Italian oil-packed tuna for this and please, for the love of anything, please use good bread! Plastic-wrapped white bread is not welcome here.
Let’s make this for lunch, okay?
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- Two 4-ounce cans Italian oil-packed tuna (can substitute with 5-ounce cans water-packed tuna), drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 2 slices of good-quality bakery bread
- 1/3 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 jalapeño, very thinly sliced, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter both sides of the bread slices. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly golden brown and slightly crisp.
For the tuna salad: mix together all of the ingredients, taking care not to break up the tuna too much. When the bread is toasted, scoop half of the tuna salad on each slice and spread to the sides. Sprinkle 1/2 of the Cheddar cheese on the tuna salad and arrange the jalapeño slices on top. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the tuna salad is warmed through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and chives before serving.