Is it picnic time yet? Or at least lunch time?
Either way…I’m ready! I mean, these sandwiches are pretty much the ultimate picnic meal, but obviously they are delicious for any occasion…aka lunch today!! I have to be honest, I don’t use canned tuna enough. It’s seriously so good and it makes for some of the easiest weekday meals. I only like to buy the tuna that comes packed in oil, I think the ones packed in water taste kind of bland and dry. Ok, and also because I’m kind of a brat when it comes to food, I only like the BEST stuff.
Along those same lines… you know, using the BEST stuff. I know this is totally random (and actually has nothing to do with this recipe) but it’s still super important. Always, always splurge on GOOD cheese! This is something that I’ve learned since taking over the cooking. In my “growing up years” my family would buy pre-shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese in giant bags from the grocery store. Parmesan cheese also came in grated form, this time in large plastic containers from Costco. I knew nothing else and I loved it.
All that has changed SO very much. I am now a complete cheese snob. I’m all about shredding it yourself and buying it at the cheese counter. I know, it’s kind of pricey, but good cheese is worth it. AND most importantly, I’ve found that you’re able to use less cheese when you buy the good stuff, since it generally has more flavor. Okay…moving on, cheese rant over.
Let’s talk about these Tuscan tuna sandwiches!!
First things first, I gotta lay everything out on the table. My love of sandwiches started as kid. Mom would make me cream cheese bagels for my school lunches. As I got older, I switched from cream cheese to turkey on some super healthy whole grain bread. Mom made, umm the BEST, whole grain bread, salted turkey and munster cheese sandwich (aka monster cheese to Asher and I 🙂 ). Then as the years went on and I got into cooking, I started making some KILLER turkey sandwiches myself. Plus melts and all kinds of delicious things on bread.
Long story short, I have always loved a good sandwich (and yes, I still love a good cream cheese bagel!).
For me, I have so much fun just throwing things on bread, usually it’s whatever I have leftover in my fridge. My combos are known to be pretty out there, but yet, they all seem to turn out pretty good. Usually its the cheese, I always, always add plenty of cheese. Oddly, these Tuscan tuna sandwiches have very little cheese, just a small bit of feta. And while the feta is delish, it’s honestly not a must have for everyone… but its definitely a must have for me, duh.
ANYWAY. These sandwiches are very different from most that I make. For one, the tuna. Like I said, it’s not something I cook with very often, but when I do I alway love it. These sandwiches are very similar to a tuna salad, except that they are on soft delicious, crusty ciabatta bread. Oh, and there is NO mayo. I am just not a mayo person. Instead I like to use a combo of tahini and greek yogurt. Much healthier and in my opinion, so much better too!
Thinking we should break this down layer by layer. Here we go…
…layer one: ciabatta with a generous smear of basil “mayo”
…layer two: oil packed tuna with sun-dried tomatoes + kalamata olives
…layer three: sliced avocado
…layer four: sliced cucumber
…layer five: hard-boiled egg
…layer six: fresh arugula and a little purple cabbage
…layer seven: feta
…layer eight: ciabatta with a generous smear of basil “mayo”
I know, a lot of layers, but you just kind of smoosh them all in there! And then… EAT!
These sandwiches come together really quick. Nothing needs to be cooked, so you’re literally just throwing everything together on some bread and calling it a day. They’re great to pack for work lunches, and would be equally great on a picnic, since the longer they sit and hang out, the better! The ciabatta just kind of gets marinated in all the flavors of the sandwich, which is amazing!!
Also, can we talk about how delicious ciabatta is? The holes, the crust, the flavor… just the best!
And that’s all for today… take that Wednesday! ?
Tuscan Tuna Sandwich.
- 1/2 cup tahini (alternately you can use mayo but I don't love mayo)
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- zest + juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- salt + pepper to taste
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 ounce cans oil packed tuna oil drained, 5
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread halved lengthwise
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 Persian cucumbers sliced
- 4 hard boiled eggs sliced or quartered
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 4-6 ounces feta cheese crumbled
In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, greek yogurt, zest + juice of 2 lemons and the olive oil until smooth and combined. If needed thin with just a little water. Add the basil + a pinch of salt and pepper and the crushed red pepper flakes to the blender or food processor and pulse once more to combine.
In a medium bowl, gently combine the drained tuna with the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Cut the loaf of ciabatta in half lengthwise and then generously spread both halves with the basil tahini yogurt sauce. Now spread the tuna mixture over the bottom half of the ciabatta. Layer the following ingredients in a single layer: avocado, cucumber, hard boiled eggs, cabbage and arugula. Crumble the feta over the arugula and season with pepper. Add the top half of the ciabatta and gently push down on the sandwich to help it stick together.
From here, you can either wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to 1 day OR you can serve.
To serve, slice into 4 equal sandwiches and EAT!
Yes, this sandwich is bigger than my whole hand…and face, but its SOOO GOOD. 🙂