Italian-Inspired Tuna Melt

Ah, the tuna melt. Nostalgia on a plate. It brings back vacation lunches and those carefree days of childhood when I could eat all the cheese and mayonnaise I wanted.

I have been having this more “grown-up” version of a tuna melt, inspired by Italian flavors, for lunch this week. While it’s still comfort food, it’s also a little more sophisticated than the tuna melts of our childhoods. And for anyone who thinks that you have to mix tuna fish with mayonnaise, this is a revelation. I prefer to use the more flavorful Italian canned tuna that’s packed in olive oil for this sandwich, but if you don’t have any on hand, mixing a good quality olive oil with the tuna fish should achieve the same result.

Italian-Inspired Tuna Melt

Time to make: ~15 minutes
Yields: 2 sandwiches

  • 1 can tuna packed in olive oil or 1 can tuna packed in water + 2-3 tbsp. good-quality olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices bread, such as Italian bread, whole-wheat bread, focaccia or English muffins
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly

Drain the tuna well. Mix the tuna, olive oil (if needed), lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Mound the tuna on the bread slices. Cover with the slices of cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve open-faced.

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3 thoughts on “Italian-Inspired Tuna Melt

  1. j 17 June 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Terrible cook I am, but… try spreading a very light layer of pesto on the bread and put a thin slice of tomato over the tuna, under the cheese. It will probably be moist enough not to need any oil. Still goes with the Italian theme.

  2. Shannon 17 June 2009 at 3:05 pm

    J – Sounds good.

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