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!