I have to admit, I wasn’t completely stoked to make this for dinner when aunt Penny told me she got all of the ingredients for tuna melts. My mind was filled with memories of bland tuna sandwiches, loaded with mayo and topped with Kraft cheese singles, that I would eat way too frequently for lunch in college.
Penny found the recipe from Martha Stewart’s magazine Everyday Food as part of a kid-friendly dinner series Emeril Lagasse did. We didn’t really have intentions of making the kids eat this dinner with us (don’t tomatoes, onions, and capers seem anti-“kid-friendly”?) but amazingly enough, my 9 year old cousin gobbled it up (after making Penny take off the tomato). Surprisingly I loved the tuna melts too! After the first bite I couldn’t stop raving about how good they were….the crushed oregano, lemon juice, and capers add so much flavor to the tuna and the melted provolone tops it off perfectly. We ate the open-faced sandwiches with some oven-roasted broccoli, and it made for a quick and delicious weeknight meal.
Penny says: If you want to “kick it up a notch,” sprinkle a tiny bit of red pepper flakes in the tuna!
Emeril’s Kicked Up Tuna Melts
from Everyday Food
20 oz canned white tuna, packed in water, drained
1/4 cup mayo, plus more for spreading (I used reduced fat olive oil mayo)
4 tsp capers, drained
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers
4 slices sourdough bread, or any other dense bread
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 8 slices
8 slices provolone cheese
Preheat broiler and place rack 6 inches from broiler.
In bowl, combine the tuna, 1/4 cup mayo, capers, oregano, lemon juice, salt, and onion.
Spread each slice of bread with desired amount of mayo, and evenly distribute tuna mix on top of each slice. Top each piece of bread with 2 slices of tomatoes and 2 slices of cheese. (Emeril put the tomato slices on top of the bread, then topped with tuna, then cheese. Either way works)
Place under preheated broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly, 4-5 minutes.
Emeril’s fun fact: crumbling the oregano before adding it to the tuna mixture releases the flavor and aroma in the herb’s oils.