Tuna Melts, I must say, are not my favourite thing. When I was young and stupid I ordered one at the cafeteria in Simpson’s Department Store, in downtown Toronto. So yes; a long time ago. To my surprise it had been made in advance and was served cold. Even worse, it tasted “off” somehow. Since I had been raised to have a horror of making any kind of a fuss in public, I did not complain but quietly ate it in spite of my misgivings. I then had to make a fuss in public anyway, as my attendance was required at the local emergency room at some point in the middle of the following night.
Since then, I don’t think I’ve had more Tuna Melts than could be counted on the fingers of one hand. This might change my mind though, and also I think it’s finally been long enough for me to reconsider my stance. Being hot through and actually melty definitely helps. That’s where letting the oven pre-heat a bit, and not putting the dish directly under the broiler comes in. It probably took about 3 times as long for the cheese to melt and brown than if it had been closer to the flame, but everything got well heated this way, and “3 times as long” is still about 10 minutes, so this is a quick enough dish to make.
I’m giving quantities and ingredient suggestions, but basically you are going to make your usual tuna salad with your favourite add-ins while you steam the zucchini, then stuff them with it, top with grated cheese, and broil. Easy-cheesy.
30 minutes – 10 minutes prep time
1 large OR 2 medium OR 3 small zucchini
1 tin chunk OR solid white tuna
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup relish, grated carrot & celery, etc
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup grated melty cheese
Wash the zucchini, and trim the stem end neatly. Cut them in half lengthwise, and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, drain the tuna very well and mix it with whatever you usually add to tuna when making tuna salad for sandwiches. I generally add either a little relish, or finely grated carrot and diced celery, and mayonnaise.
When the zucchini is tender, let it cool just enough to handle. Use a grapefruit spoon to hollow out each half. Put the hollowed out pieces of zucchini into a baking pan that will hold them snugly in a single layer. Squeeze as much liquid from the scraped out zucchini trimming as possible. Chop it finely and mix it into your tuna salad.
Preheat the broiler; have the rack down one setting from immediately under the broiler.
Distribute the tuna evenly amongst the hollowed out zucchini boats. Top them with a good layer of grated cheese. When the oven is hot, place them on the top rack and broil until the cheese is browned and melted, and the whole dish is quite hot; about 10 minutes. Serve at once.
Last year at this time I made Raspberry-Mint-Tea Slushies.