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Hunter Fike




A Cheesemonger’s Tuna Melt

Very few meals remind me of my childhood as much as a tuna melt. My mother was the primary chef in our household, and she excelled (still does) in all areas of Italian cuisine. On the rare occasion that my father cooked, my brother and I were treated to distinctly American dinners.

My dad seems to have a thing for fish in cans. Mackerel, tomato and onion always popped up as a between-meal snack; white fish trumped cream cheese atop his Sunday bagels. But tuna melts were always my favorite of his can-to-table fare.

Last week, while perusing the shelves of 9th Street in search of inspiration, I happened upon our tuna section and decided to amp up the volume on this classic. Here is what I came up with.


  • Bread (Ciabatta is suggested)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 – 6oz can Tuna (Good Quality, like Flott or American Tuna)
  • 2 – 3tbsps Mustard (I like Fallot Tarragon Mustard)
  • 1 – Small Tomato (optional)
  • 6-8oz Reading Raclette (or other Alpine style, like Fontina, Comte or Gruyere)


  1. Smear a slice of bread with olive oil, just enough to lightly coat, and toast until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the tuna with 2 or three tablespoons of the mustard. Mustard and Raclette are fabulous together, so don’t be afraid to overdo it.
  3. Shred the Raclette coarsely. When toasting is complete, top the bread with the tomato, if using, then the tuna/mustard mixture. Then smother in cheese. The more cheese the smarter.
  4. Place under the broiler for approximately 10 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to brown.
  5. Enjoy!


  • countryboy says:
    August 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    The timing of this post is perfect.. I just bought a 5 lb can of tuna to sustain me during the pending Irene weekend. I may have to substitute a propane torch for the broiler.

  • petunia says:
    August 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Damn that looks great..! Make some more and invite us over!!

  • conners says:
    August 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Sounds simple enough for me to do…and your photo makes it so enticing!!! Thank you!!!!

  • Hunter says:
    August 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    @countryboy…a propane torch would be perfect, actually. Good to brown the top, just like creme brulee. I left it out of the recipe assuming that most people don’t have one on hand in their kitchen.

  • A.Cavalieri says:
    August 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    It looks great and appears to be easy to make. It often seems that simple dishes like this one lodge permanently in memory as long-lived favorites.

  • Wanda Cavalieri says:
    August 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    there goes my diet. That is one tempting dish. I can almost taste it.

  • singingfatlady says:
    August 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Mmmmm! Does good eating get any simpler? A classic reinvented for the gourmand–thank you!

  • ilovetuna says:
    August 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm


  • Natalia says:
    August 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Tuna and mustard, very interesting! I will have to try it!

  • Marie Floria says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Yummy! This looks just amazing. Everything you do looks and sounds fantastic.

  • Celeste Ellenberg says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Just gave me the answer for our gathering. Thanks! This looks sensational.

  • Ron says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Start the diet tomorrow! This looks like a winner.

  • Pepper says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:28 am


  • Marie Floria says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Amazing as usual. This looks scrumptious

  • dolce says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

    perfect meal for a hurricane…are you open today? i need more Raclette!

  • strega says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I love the photography in this blog. Too delicious!

  • Madame Fromage says:
    August 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hunter, only you could revive the tuna melt — I think the blow torch version is brilliant. Perhaps it could get a new, draggy sort of name to match: Tuna Brulee?

  • cil cavalieri says:
    August 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Oh I am drooling. I now want to come and try the Reading Raclette, if it tastes as delectable as it looks, I could become addicted. Thank you for a new treat to try!

  • Mal Eliere says:
    August 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Brings back old memories of hard times and wonderful food inventions. Thank you

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