Lunchbox Special: Oregon Tuna Melt

October 4, 2012  |  

Made with lots of tuna and lots of cheese, this tuna melt by Tommy Habetz is packed with good taste. The secret ingredient for the tuna: Use balsamic vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise. Go ahead and give it a try!


2 can(s) (6-ounce) albacore tuna
1/4 cup(s) finely diced red onion
1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon(s) minced basil
1/2 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ciabatta rolls, split
Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, for spreading
8 (6 ounces) 1/4-inch-thick slices of Swiss or cheddar cheese
16 1/8-inch-thick lengthwise slices of kosher dill pickle
2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, softened


1. In a medium bowl, mix the tuna with the onion, olive oil, vinegar, basil, and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a panini press or griddle. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with mustard and mayonnaise and top each roll half with a slice of cheese. Spread the tuna salad on the bottoms and cover with the pickles. Close the sandwiches and spread the outsides of the rolls with the butter.

3. Add the sandwiches to the press and cook over moderate heat until the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

Recipe/Image Courtesy of Fox

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