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  • Writer's picturechefalisonbiebs

Tuna Melts

A toasted tuna salad sandwich with cheddar cheese was a go-to meal for lunch and occasionally dinner when I was growing up. I have elevated it slightly with the addition of Idiazabal, a semi-cured sheep cheese from the Basque region in Spain. It has a wonderfully smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the tuna belly used. Happy cooking.


Chef notes:

Add sriracha or hot smoked paprika to the mayonnaise to spice it up.


Specialty equipment:

Microplane zester


Yield: serves 2

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks

1 tsp Dijon

Juice of half a lemon

1 cup olive oil

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


Tuna Salad

1 can of tuna belly in olive oil conserva

2 tbsp chives, chopped

2 tbsp red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 tbsp cornichon pickles, chopped

2 tbsp mayonnaise

½ a baguette

100 g idiazabal cheese, sliced

¼ cup salted butter

30 g grana padano, grated

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


For the mayonnaise

  • Place the egg yolks, dijon, and lemon juice into a mixing bowl.

  • Add the oil slowly, whisking continuously, to create an emulsion.

  • Season the taste with salt and pepper.

  • Store the mayonnaise in the fridge in a sealed container for up to one week.

For the tuna melts

  • Drain the oil from the tuna and add it to a mixing bowl.

  • Combine the tuna with the chives, red pepper, cornichon, mayonnaise, and season to taste.

  • Slice the baguette into eight, ¼-inch slices.

  • Add a large spoonful of the tuna salad to 4 of the slices of baguette.

  • Top with the idziabal cheese and close the sandwiches.

  • Melt half of the butter in a frying pan on high heat.

  • Dip the sandwich into the butter, the grated grana padano, and back into the pan to toast it.

  • Add more butter, flip the melts, and toast the other side until they are golden brown.

  • Remove from the pan and garnish with more grated grana padano and fresh chopped chives.

©chefalisonbiebs

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