After last week’s 4thof July festivities, which cut the week in half and were as long-lived as the puffs of smoke from the fireworks, we’re again navigating traffic making the dreaded commute.  So, it makes even more sense to cut the midweek blues with an unpretentious, yet sassy sandwich accompanied by a light salad or even better a refreshing slaw. We are in the middle of summer after all.

The grilled sandwich revival is in full swing and long gone are the days of the Velveeta oozing counterpart – oh no.  Melts have acquired a fancy rep, where even food trucks are making decadent, daily favorites throughout the country.


There’s nothing standard about these gourmet, melt-in-your-mouth tuna melts, and the added bonus is that they are as healthy as they are quick to prepare.

Please use the best quality, tuna packed in olive oil (not the brownish watery, fishy stuff) because for canned tuna, it’s not an indulgence it’s a prerequisite.  There is really no substitute, that’s why it costs more and once you start using it, you’ll know the difference.

The tuna has a lot of back up in this sandwich to create an epicurean taste sensation for any rush hour dinner – or lunch for that matter.  The fact that there’s a bit of melted cheese adds a bit of decadence, making this healthy take an almost guilty pleasure.  The use of Muenster and Asiago combo instead of the expected Mozzy, Colby-Jack or Cheddar, adds tremendous earthiness and unctuous flavoring.

There’re a couple of ways for the preparation of this masterpiece.  One is to assemble a regular sandwich and then grill it, pressing down gently to melt the cheese.  And the other take is toasting the bread slices under a broiler with some butter, adding the toppings and finishing in again under the broiler to ensure the cheese gets ooey and gooey.

1 can of white chunk tuna, packed in olive oil – drain half of the olive oil

1 shallot – minced

7-8 cornichons – chopped finely

2-3 TBSP of slivered almonds – chopped

1 TBS chopped fresh basil

1 TBS chopped fresh mint

1 TBSP fresh chopped parsley

½ cup of dried cherries or cranberries – rough chopped

1 apple or pear peeled, cored and cut into small cubes

¼ cup of mayo

2 TBSP sour cream

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ TSP of Aleppo pepper

½ TBSP red wine vinegar

Slices of tomato

4 slices of Muenster cheese

¼ cup of shredded Asiago

Lemon aioli

Pinch of Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

In a working bowl add the tuna and break up the chunks.  In a small bowl, whisk the mayo with the sour cream, lemon, Aleppo pepper, red wine vinegar, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the flaked tuna and gently fold in the dressing.  Set aside.

Choose the method of assembling (whole sandwich or open-faced).  Heat up the broiler and butter some bread slices and place under the broiler for about 2 minutes.  Remove smear some of the aioli on the bread, add the tomato slice and the tuna mixture on top of each slice.  Top with the Muenster slices, Asiago cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese has melted, being careful not to char the sides of the bread.


Bread can be slices of sourdough, country style bread, English muffins.  I’ve omitted the customary celery to create a different flavor profile and the typical red onion is substituted by shallots for a more delicate taste.





1 medium head of radicchio or ¼ head of red cabbage – shredded finely

2 cups of shredded Napa cabbage

1 mango – peeled, pitted and julienned

¼ cup of sour cream

3 scallions – sliced both red and green parts

½ cup of chopped parsley

½ cup of chopped cilantro

3 TBSP rice vinegar

2 TBSP soy sauce

1½ TBSP honey

¼ cup dried cranberries

½ julienned carrot

1 TBSP fresh ginger paste – Gourmet Garden

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger paste, sour cream, honey, salt pepper.  Place all the ingredients for the slaw in a bowl and fold in the dressing.  Allow for it to sit at room temp for about 30-40 minutes so the flavors meld together.

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