Vegetables Loaded Tuna Salad and Open Face Tuna Melt

Tuna salad is too often a boring and heavy blend of canned tuna, mixed with too much mayonnaise, a bit of celery and not much else.
The version I have for you here is tastier and healthier: on top of the celery, I added some chopped peppers and scallions, and grated carrots, for an additional crunch, flavor and color. I also decided to reduce the amount of heavy mayonnaise by substituting half the amount with thick yogurt. To make things even more interesting, I seasoned the mixture with some mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, lemon zest and juice.
The result is a tasty and fresh salad, that can also be used as a great way to add vegetables to the diet of those who don’t like vegetables. It can be served on its own, in tuna sandwich, or as a base for an open face tuna melt, as shown here.

Tuna melt is a typical American sandwich, which, again, is too often made with inferior tuna salad and processed cheese. Here I prepared an open face version, in which the cheese is lightly grilled under the broiler, rather than melted inside the sandwich, while letting the salad get unpleasantly warm. The addition of cherry tomatoes adds flavor and subtle acidity, that balances the heaviness of the cheese. The result is a hearty, yet light and fresh sandwich, perfect for brunch, lunch or a light dinner. Try it and enjoy.

Makes: 4 cups salad
Prep time for the salad: 20 minutes
Prep/cooking time for the Tuna Melt: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
½ cup grated carrots
½ cup finely chopped celery, leaves included
½ cup small diced mini peppers
2 finely diced scallions
2 cans (5oz /140 grams each) Chunk White Albacore Tuna, in water
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
½ cup thick yogurt, at least 2% fat
1 Tbs lemon zest
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbs ketchup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Keep in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to three days.

For the Tuna Melt:
Tuna salad from above recipe
Sliced bread (I used Rye bread) or bagel halves, lightly toasted
Sliced cherry tomatoes
Sliced aged cheddar or provolone cheese (or any other cheese you prefer)
Fresh lettuce leaves for serving

Preheat the broiler. Place the lightly toasted bread or bagel halves in a pan. Top with the salad, cherry tomatoes and cheese. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, just until the cheese melts and turns golden. (You don’t want the salad to get warm, just to grill the cheese.) Serve immediately, on a bed of lettuce.

35 thoughts on “Vegetables Loaded Tuna Salad and Open Face Tuna Melt

  1. judilyn says:

    I do this with chicken salad – no seafood since Fukushima. The more veggies, the merrier. I’m always torn between dill relish and sweet relish; each his its charms. I never have any mayo around, but on the rare occasion such a substance is required, I use a dab of Cole slaw dressing. It’s a real staple ingredient for me! Lemmmmmmmon!

    I had a skosh of the salad left the other day, so plopped it in with a tiny scoop of rice to make a larger portion for my pre-dinner snack! It’s hard to cook on an empty stomach! ;->

    Virtual hugs,
    
    Judie
    

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cookingwithauntjuju.com says:

    Interesting additions to the typical “tuna melt”. Love the carrots and peppers (I add celery and onions) but I’m not sure about the spices. I use sour cream instead of yogurt and buy low salt tuna fish so would probably not add the extra salt. I’m going to give this a try as I have been making the typical “tuna melt” (using American cheese) for years and I am always open to something new!

    Liked by 1 person

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