Canned tuna is probably the most versatile canned fish I can imagine. Contrary to sardines or anchovies, it is equally good in both hot and cold dishes. To all those crying I shamelessly promote an overfished species, I have two words: Katsuwonus pelamis. This latin name refers to skipjack tuna, also called striped tuna or arctic bonito, the one usually canned and apparently not endangered. Those who have ever had a chance to taste it grilled know it is definitely not the highly praised, red, succulent tun. Striped tuna is dried in Japan, and then becomes katsuobushi, “shaved” and used to prepare the Japanese broth, or dashi (read more here).
Grilled toasts with toppings (or grilled open sandwiches) are my staples whenever I need a hot, but quick meal. They are the only reason I keep the vilified toast bread, ideal for this preparation. Since this kind of bread keeps quite long, and given into consideration the cans’ shelf life, I always have the ingredients necessary to prepare a toast with tuna. (I do not mention the gruyère you see melted above, since living in Switzerland I couldn’t possibly not have it in my fridge!). The remaining items can be freely substituted or omitted.
This grilled toast can be served for any course. With a green salad it makes a complete and light lunch or dinner (of course unless you put tons of cheese on top).
Preparation: 10 – 15 minutes
Ingredients (serves two):
1 can tuna (in water is the one I prefer)
2-3 slices toast bread
a couple of tablespoons capers or chopped olives
a couple of tablespoons mayonnaise, cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream
50-70 g or more gruyère (or any other melting cheese you have, even mozzarella will do; personally I find gruyère the best here)
(gochujang, tabasco or chili powder)
Preheat the upper grill in the oven.
Drain the tuna. Put it in a bowl and squash it with a fork, add the capers (or the olives), the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, gochujang and mix well with a fork.
Cut the toast bread into halves (I like the triangles’ cut) or into four pieces if you prefer.
Spread the tuna mixture (a 1 cm or thicker layer) over the bread and arrange the sandwiches on a baking tray or a piece of aluminium foil.
Grate the cheese over the sandwiches or cut it into thin slices and put it over them.
Put the sandwiches under the oven grill and grill them until the cheese melts and the bread crust becomes golden.
Serve with ketchup or hot sauces (plum sauce goes well) and with a green salad.