I love tuna salad. I probably love it because it contains a copious amount of mayonnaise. When I was little, my mom would make the salad with chopped boiled eggs, cooked rice, and lots of dill. We would eat the salad on its own, without bread, crackers, or potato chips.
As I grew older, I started incorporating more ingredients to my tuna salad. I love the color and flavors added by pickles, onion, celery and cilantro. I usually try to make the salad several hours ahead so it can have plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator.
But what about a hot tuna salad sandwich? I was skeptical for the longest time, but then I made these Tuna Melt Sandwiches with the help, encouragement, and guidance of my dear friend Alla -- and am now a convert. Will I change your mind with these delicious melts?
1 boiled egg, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup cooked rice
2-3 dill pickles, finely diced
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon finely diced celery
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon spicy mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of bread
shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
*(I prefer mine in water, but feel free to use the kind in oil, just be sure to buy the best quality tuna you can afford. Be aware of ethically-fished and sustainable tuna brands.)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top. Set aside.
1. Mix together tuna, egg, rice, pickles, onion, celery, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust the flavor. I personally like to add more pickles. You should feel free to play with proportions of ingredients.
2. Spread the tuna salad on bread and sprinkle with cheese. Transfer the open sandwiches on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake the sandwiches in the oven until they are heated through and the cheese has melted. This will take about 15 minutes. For extra crispness, cook the sandwiches under the broiler for the last two minutes.
4. Eat the sandwiches immediately. Or, if you are at my house, you sit on the couch, waiting for a sandwich while I take photographs. And if you are Alla, you probably pout... a lot!
Serve these Tuna Melt Sandwiches with extra pickles and Pop Chips or your favorite potato chips. I also drizzled some hot pepper sauce for an extra kick.
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