Dinner Tonight: Tuna Melt and Chopped Salad

Inspiration for tonight's dinner? Getting back to balance for goodness sake (especially necessary after last week's pancakes and milkshakes for dinner)! This week's meal brings balance, but certainly not boredom.

On top of it all, this meal comes together with zero stovetop time, and minimal broiler time, making it perfect for the steamy days ahead.

The Menu

Provencal Tuna Melt by boulangere

1 6-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil
1/4 of a red bell pepper, 1/4" dice
Green parts of 2 scallions, 1/4" dice
2 teaspoons capers, drained, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons mayo
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch red pepper flakes
4 slices good bread
Olive oil
Slices of soft cheese; use as much as you like

1. Scrape the tuna and around half of the oil into a mixing bowl; the oil will provide a lovely silkiness. Add the peppers to the bowl.

2. Slice the scallions and add them to the bowl. Roughly chop the capers (you're just trying to break them up a bit) and add them to the bowl. Mince the thyme and add it. Eyeball the mayo, but don't use a heavy hand. You want just enough to bind the mixture. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the red pepper flakes. Gently stir everything together.

3. Turn on the broiler. Set a rack a notch below the one right under the broiler; that will let the filling warm and cheese melt without either burning. Lay bread slices outsides-up on a baking sheet NOT lined with parchment, for what I trust are obvious reasons. Brush them with olive oil and place under broiler. Don't walk away. They should brown nicely within about a minute. Remove the baking sheet and use tongs to turn over slices of bread. Divide filling between two slices, and arrange cheese on the others. Return to broiler. Heat for about 2 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, and filling has heated.

4. Remove from oven, Use tongs to turn the cheese-y slices over on top of those spread with filling. Slice in half, and serve immediately. Pour some glasses of a crisp white wine and raise a toast to global cuisine.

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Shades of Green Chopped Salad

Get the recipe.

The Grocery List (for 2)

1 6-ounce can oil-packed tuna
1/4 red bell pepper
2 scallions
1 sprig fresh thyme

Slices of soft, melty cheese like fresh asiago (as much as you like)
4 slices good bread, like ciabatta
Creme fraiche
Chives
1 Granny Smith apple
1 avocado
1/2 English cucumber
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup green raisins
1/4-1/2 cup gorgonzola

(We know the list looks a little long, but everything on it should be easy to find at almost any grocery store.) We assume you have salt, pepper, garlic, lemons, mayo, olive oil, honey, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. If not, add them to the list!

The Plan

1. This dinner is very, very simple, but it does involve a fair amount of chopping. In fact, chopping is basically all there is to do. Begin by mixing the chive dressing for the salad, because then you can put away the blender or food processor and be done with it, and it won't hurt the dressing to sit on the sidelines while you get everything else ready.

2. Chop everything for the sandwich and mix together the tuna salad. Toast the bread. Assemble the sandwiches and arrange on a baking sheet.

3. Chop everything for the chopped salad. Turn on the broiler, slide the tuna melts under it and toss the salad.

4. Pull those lovely, heaping, toasty, gooey sandwiches out and serve alongside a generous pile of green. Dive in!

For more inspiring ideas for dinner tonight, check out FOOD52.com!

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