29 April 2010

Traditional Sandwiches Updated: California Tuna Melt, Egg Salad

Open face version of the popular tuna melt by zrail @ flickr

From Denny: Sandwiches from canned tuna or boiled eggs are inexpensive ways to feed a family - or yourself on a diet! :) No one said they could not taste wonderful. At our house we don't use dill but rather sweet basil herb as it goes wonderfully with both tuna or eggs.

I also include a dash of ground yellow turmeric root as it has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is often the leading cause of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Inflammation also comes from eating wheat flour products - and sugar - and we have way too much of these items on our grocery shelves and in the American diet. Why not include a little prevention in as many dishes as you can, especially when it's difficult to completely avoid these products since we seem to be swimming in them? Turmeric is an ingredient prominent in curry powder mixtures.

We also use sweet pickles diced up as opposed to dill. Tuna and eggs both have a sharp, even musky quality to them and something to sweeten them like sweet pickles, mayonnaise and even a hint of ground cloves does wonders for the flavor. If you have any fresh coriander or regular parsley include that too as parsley is a whiz at balancing all the flavors in any dish.

If you really want to kick up the flavor add some garlic powder to tuna or egg dishes along with some Cajun seasoning and extra paprika. You will get loads of flavor, beautiful color for otherwise bland sandwich fillings and tons of compliments as these spicy flavors hit their mouths! I've made converts of people, especially men, who usually pass on these traditional sandwiches because they taste too fishy or bland. Also, you can use half extra virgin olive oil and half mayonnaise if you like for another interesting flavoring.

California Tuna Melt

From: California Olive Industry

Serves: 4


1 (12-oz.) can tuna packed in water
1 cup sliced ripe olives, divided
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tbls. lemon juice
1 tbl. chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Cayenne pepper, to taste
8 slices light rye bread, toasted
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine tuna, 1/2 cup ripe olives, celery, red bell peppers, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill and salt. Season to taste with a dash of cayenne.

2. Place four slices of toast on a clean surface. Spread approximately 3/4 cup of tuna salad on each.

3. Top with 2 to 3 slices of avocado, 2 tablespoons ripe olives and 2 tablespoons Monterey Jack cheese.

4. Place under a preheated broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from broiler and top with remaining slices of toast.

Creative version of egg salad wrapped in pastrami by FotoosVanRobin @ flickr

Old-Fashioned Egg Salad Sandwiches

From: California Olive Industry

Serves: 4


8 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2/3 cup ripe olives, wedged
1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tbls. chopped chives
2 tsps. chopped fresh tarragon
1-1/2 tsps. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
8 slices pumpernickel bread, lightly toasted
Iceberg lettuce
1 tomato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Half a red onion, thinly sliced


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, ripe olives, pickles, green onions, mayonnaise, chives, tarragon, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Place four slices of toast on a clean surface.

2. Spread egg salad on top of each. Top with lettuce leaves, sliced tomato and slice of red onion. Cover with remaining toast slices.

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