This recipe for tuna melts is a French-inspired twist on a classic American open-faced sandwich, and brings together the savory flavors of Espelette pepper, cornichon pickles, and a generous blanket of melty, bubbling Comté cheese. Brioche bread acts as a rich and buttery base for the tuna salad, and thin slices of tomato give a bit of freshness to an otherwise decadent dish. Serve with a fresh green salad for the perfect summer meal.
4 slices brioche bread
1- 5 ounce can of light tuna packed in water
6-8 cornichon pickles, minced, plus more for garnish
⅓ cup mayonnaise
¼ tsp espelette pepper (or ¼ tsp smoked paprika)
1 medium tomato, washed, stem end removed, and thinly sliced into 8
Place the brioche bread in a toaster and toast until lightly golden brown. Once toasted, arrange the brioche on a baking sheet and set aside. Turn your broiler on to high and let it get hot. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Drain the tuna well to remove all of the water. In a bowl, mix together the tuna, pickles, mayonnaise, and espelette pepper. Mix well until no large flakes of tuna remain. Season with salt and pepper if desired – though, the Comté cheese will add seasoning as well.
Divide the tuna mixture evenly on the 4 slices of brioche, spreading right to the edges of each slice. Lay two slices of tomato on top of the tuna covered brioche. Shred the Comté cheese, and divide evenly between the 4 sandwiches, placing a mound of cheese on top of the sliced tomatoes.
Place the tuna melts under the broiler until the cheese has fully melted and is starting to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye to ensure your tuna melts don’t burn – it can happen quickly! Remove the tuna melts from the oven, transfer to a serving plate, and serve warm with extra cornichon pickles on the side.
The Fall/Winter 2023 edition of Comté News is now available!