In this dish, it's not just the tuna that meets the grill. The bread itself is grilled too! Italians have been grilling bread for bruschetta and panini for centuries and, thankfully, this technique is finally starting to catch on in other parts of the world. It adds an entirely new texture and flavor to sandwiches. More than simply toasted bread, grilled bread is given a wonderfully rich, smoky flavor. This sandwich is all about strong tastes. Fresh, meaty tuna is grilled until rare and juicy and then placed between slices of grilled bread. The sandwich is topped off with fragrant basil mayonnaise and greens dressed in balsamic vinegar. The result is an incredibly flavorful treat; the perfect thing to serve to your guests in the middle of summer.
Green Salad with Avocado, Sprouts, and Cucumbers
Grilled Tuna Sandwiches
Oven-Fried Potatoes
Beer or Chilled White Wine


1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 skinless tuna steaks (each about 5 ounces, 3/4 inch thick)
olive oil
salt and pepper
8 slices high-quality, crusty bread (1/2 inch thick)
1 clove of garlic, halved
lettuce leaves
thin slices of red onion
balsamic vinegar

Cooking Instructions

In a food processor, blend the basil leaves, mayonnaise, and lemon juice until smooth. Alternatively, you can finely mince the basil and then mix in the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Keep covered in the refrigerator until needed.

Prepare a barbecue (medium-high-heat). Rub the tuna steaks with a touch of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the bread slices generously with oil and rub with the cut side of garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tuna steaks and the slices of bread on the grill. Grill, turning once during cooking, until the tuna is opaque on the outside and rare on the inside and the bread is golden (1 to 2 minutes per side for both items). If either item cooks faster than the other, simply remove it from heat while the rest continue to cook.

Quickly dress the lettuce leaves and red onion slices with a little bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. To assemble the sandwich, spread some of the basil mayonnaise onto 4 of the bread slices. Top each a tuna steak and some of the greens and onions. Top with the remaining slices of bread and serve.

Makes 4 sandwiches



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elliemay's blog

Be sure to use a high-quality bread. Breads with a good crust from local or artisan bakeries are wonderful. The sliced bread found in supermarkets that is commonly used for sandwiches is too soft to hold up to grilling.

Feel free to add more toppings to the sandwich if you like. Sometimes I enjoy it with chopped olives, sprouts, avocado or thinly sliced cucumber. Likewise, the mayonnaise is great made with other herbs such as tarragon, cilantro, or, for a real change of pace, hot chili powder.

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