This post is a part of a series I call Lovely Lady Lunch–where I take time, once a week, to make myself a real lunch. On the side, I might read a book, flip through a magazine, or watch something on YouTube. The idea is to enjoy a delicious lunch and just take a minute in the middle of the day to chill. I encourage you to share your lovely lady lunches on media using the tag #lovelyladylunch!
A week ago, yesterday, I made these Pesto Tuna Melts for myself and my two best friends, Brooke and Bailey. I was so excited to share #lovelyladylunch with them! Even though there are 5 children between us and there was no way we’d get them all down for a nap at the same time (or at all), it was so nice to have a real lunch together. They’re actually sisters, who I have known since I was a teenager, and spending any amount of time with either of them literally gives me life. After what has felt like the longest few days ever, I am wishing I were back there chatting over lunch while our wild children deconstruct the house. Since I can’t be, we will text and snap each other until I get to visit again (in July, I’m counting down the days already).
These pesto-spiked tuna melts are a favorite of mine, I make them a lot and have been waiting to share them here until I could also share them with my tuna-melt-loving girlfriends. These are so easy and so delicious! Even if you have a toddler (or two) hanging off your leg, you can totally pull this off in about 15 minutes and have a tasty, real lunch. The beauty of these, besides the super-quick prep, is that they can be scaled up or down with the exact same amount of effort. Jarred pesto really perks up the tuna and a blend of mozzarella and parm bring that cheesy, melty crust that’s integral in any melt. I always either go for a plush white bread or rye for my tuna melts, but any bread you prefer works. When tomatoes and basil are in season, homemade pesto is amazing on this sandwich! And, of course, summer tomatoes are best, but the broiler and some salt and pepper work wonders on those sad, off-season tomatoes.
- 1, 5 oz., can tuna, drained well
- 1 tablespoon prepared pesto
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I like olive oil mayo)
- 2 slices of bread (I like potato bread or rye)
- 4 slices tomato
- ¼ cup shredded cheese
- arugula to top
- Mix the drained tuna, pesto, and mayonnaise in a bowl with a fork. Add more pesto or mayo to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat the broiler on high. While the broiler preheats, toast to bread in a toaster (or on both sides under the broiler) until just golden. Place the toasted bread slices on a baking sheet (line it with foil for easy clean-up) and divide the tuna between the slices. Place two slices of tomato onto each sandwich and season with salt and pepper. Divide the cheese between the two sandwiches. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve piled with arugula on top or chips.
One can of tuna could make two servings (4 open-faced sandwiches) but, I go a little heavy on the tuna for a hearty lunch for one.
The pesto and mayonnaise are to taste, I’ve learned that everyone likes their ratio for tuna salad differently, so do what works for you. If you hate mayo, that’s okay! A drizzle of olive oil brings great moisture and a squeeze of lemon is nice too.