We recently fell for Ina Garten all over again when she nicely clapped back at Reese Witherspoon’s 2022 goals on Instagram (spoiler: she recommends drinking more large cosmos and watching all the Netflix you want). Consider our flame for the Queen of Chambray reignited once again, thanks to her ingenious recipe for Ultimate Tuna Melts.
The Barefoot Contessa shared a photo of the handheld to Instagram, saying, “Tuna fish sandwiches are one of my favorite comfort foods and my Ultimate Tuna Melts are even better!” The simple sandwich still somehow looks chic and elegant—as is Ina’s way—despite being a stick-to-your-ribs diner classic.
“You can make the tuna mixture ahead and throw the open-faced sandwiches under the broiler just before serving,” she continues in the caption. “I promise you’ll feel better immediately!”
What makes her tuna melt so special, you ask? First of all, she uses imported tuna packed in olive oil, because run-of-the-mill tuna in water simply wouldn’t taste as good. With the help of “good mayonnaise” and fresh alliums (aka a genus of flowering plants that includes garlic, onions, scallions and the like), herbs and citrus, the canned fish is transformed into something spectacular. We’re most intrigued by the optional addition of anchovy paste, as we’re betting it offers incomparable umami to the sandwich.
Besides the semi-fancy ingredient list, the real key to these open-faced sammies is popping them under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese turns gooey. (It’s a million times easier than flipping a closed tuna melt 500 times waiting for the cheese to melt—trust.) Ina recommends Swiss cheese, but we’re betting cheddar would taste just as heavenly.
And with that, we have a sudden hankering for canned tuna. You can find the full recipe on the Barefoot Contessa website—we’ll be digging through our pantry.