Vegetarian “Tuna” Melt
My diet is mostly plant-based, and sometimes includes fish, eggs and goat milk based cheese. I’ve sworn off canned tuna as commercial fishing has caused immense damage to the ocean, the ecosystem and kills needlessly. But, every now and again, I crave the tuna salad sandwiches I enjoyed as a kid and in classic diners. I combined a few pantry staples and some fresh to create this vegan “tuna” salad. I developed it just yesterday, and I’m ready to make my third batch! On the “Tuna” Melt, I did use a goat Gouda- so the salad is vegan, the sandwich I created isn’t. Substitute a plant based cheese should you prefer!
•Salt cured capers have superior flavor to brine packed. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly.
•I like using organic hearts of palm by Native Forest (not sponsored) as they are nice and crispy and not overly brined. When I can find them, I love and prefer fresh hearts of palm. If you can find fresh, poaching them is simple and takes all of 15 minutes- I prefer their flavor.
Vegan “Tuna” Salad
1 cup cooked chick peas
1/2 cup drained artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup hearts of palm, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup (vegan) mayo
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt cured capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1- In the bowl of a food processor, pulls the chick peas until coursley chopped, do not purée (you may also do this by hand).
2- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and adjust seasoning. If you prefer, you may add extra mayo.
To assemble the “Tuna” Melt-
Think grilled cheese!
Using bread of choice, spread a thin layer of mayo on each slice on its “exterior” side. Place first slice mayo side down in a preheated heavy bottomed pan and cook until golden. Remove from heat and pile with “tuna” salad and top generously with cheeese of choice. Place under a broiler for 1-2 minutes, just until cheese begins to melt. Top with second slice of bread and place sandwich mayo side down in the heated pan until crispy and golden brown and cheese is fully melted.