Olive Oil-Poached Tuna Melts

Fresh tuna is poached in seasoned olive oil, mixed with veggies, topped with cheese and broiled for a sensational sandwich. Enjoy today or store for a make-ahead meal.


  • 3 cups olive oil
  • 4-5 stems fresh thyme
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds tuna, such as ahi or yellowtail, 1 inch-thick
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped or 1/2 small bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small fresh chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Nicoise or other pitted black olives
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons capers
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • Seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay Seasoning
  • 6 ounces very sharp white cheddar or Gruyère cheese
  • Brioche rolls or lobster rolls, split


Place the oil, thyme, rind of the lemon peeled into strips, bay leaves and crushed garlic in a pan and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the trimmed fish. Let stand for 20 minutes. Remove the fish, reserving the poaching oil, cool and flake.

In a bowl, combine the lemon juice with 1/3 cup reserved poaching oil. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper. To the dressing, add the celery, onion, hot and sweet peppers, olives, parsley, capers and tarragon. Season the fish with a little seafood seasoning and add to the salad. Combine with the tines of a large fork. Cover and store for a make-ahead meal.

To serve, place the rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat the broiler.

Shred the cheddar or Gruyère cheese on the large side of a box grater.

Pile the tuna salad on the bottom of the rolls. Top with the cheese. Place both the bottoms and the tops under the broiler to toast and melt the cheese, 2 minutes. Serve hot.

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