Remember when I shared that open-faced tuna melt a few weeks ago and also shared about my fear of canned tuna most of my life? I had the most delicious tuna melt and my mind was forever changed. This is my attempt at recreating that sandwich.
My best friends always used to order tuna melts at this sandwich shop we would sometimes go to in Chicago. I don’t know why this memory stands out to me so much; maybe it’s because of their obsession with it or my disgusted reaction every time they got it (canned fish?! cheese and fish combined?!) but I think of them every time I see a tuna melt. Sorry to my girls, it may be a weird thing to be associated with.
Creamy tuna salad spiked with sharp capers, lemon, shallots and Dijon mustard cut through the richness of the buttery toasted bread and melty cheddar. Some tomato slices thrown in make you feel a little healthy.
Buttery Tuna Melts
Yield: 2 sandwiches
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
FOR THE MELTS:
4 thin slices of good-quality bakery bread
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 slices ripe tomato
6 to 8 slices sharp Cheddar cheese, depending on the size of your bread slices
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 chives before serving.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter over each slice of bread. Flip the slices so the buttered sides are down and spread the tuna salad over two slices. Top with the tomato and cheddar slices. Place the remaining bread slices on top and press down lightly.
Once the skillet is heated, toast the sandwiches until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.