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Out of the Lunch Box: Cat Cora's Tuna Melt With Apple and Avocado

Out of the Lunch Box: Cat Cora's Tuna Melt With Apple and Avocado

Cat Cora may be an Iron Chef, but as the mother of four, she also knows how to make a mean (and kid-friendly) sandwich. We asked the woman best known for her Greek-influenced cuisine to share one of her favorites with us. She offered up a mom shortcut for a recipe from her latest cookbook, Cat Cora's Classics With a Twist ($20). Chef Cora said, "Here’s a tuna melt with a difference: a different cheese (swiss), different add-ins (juicy Fuji apples, and buttery avocado), and a different presentation. If the weather is warm or you’re having one of those kids-underfoot days, don’t bother with the oven. Toast the bread in your toaster instead. Just have the swiss cheese ready when the toast pops up, sandwich the cheese between the warm slices of toast, and let the heat of the toast melt the cheese. Then gently pull the toast slices apart and add the tomato slices and tuna salad." This alternative to the traditional tuna melt is sure to be a hit at your kid's cafeteria table!
For the recipe, read more.

Tuna Melt With Apple and Avocado

Courtesy Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist, Houghton Mifflin 2010

Cat Cora's Tuna Melt With Apple and Avocado


  1. 2 6-ounce cans tuna packed in water, drained and flaked with a fork
    2 scallions, finely chopped
    1 small red onion, minced
    1 celery stalk, finely chopped
    1 small Fuji apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
    1 slightly firm avocado, pitted, peeled, and finely chopped
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cilantro-dijon dressing
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    8 slices multigrain bread
    1 tomato, cut into 1/ 2-inch slices
    4–6 slices Swiss cheese
    4 pickle spears
    Fresh Lime Tortilla Chips


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

For the tuna: In a medium bowl, mix the tuna, scallions, onion, celery, and apple. Add the avocado and toss lightly, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, cilantro, lime juice, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the tuna mixture and toss to mix. (The tuna can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated, covered.)

To make the sandwiches: Preheat the broiler.

Place the bread on a baking sheet and broil, watching carefully, until the toast is light brown, 15 to 30 seconds per side. (Leave the toast on the baking sheet.) Top 4 pieces of the toast with the tomato slices and place the Swiss cheese
on the remaining 4 pieces of toast. Return the baking sheet to the oven and keep an eye on the sandwiches; as soon as the cheese begins to melt, remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Spoon about ¼ cup of the tuna salad onto each of the 4 toast slices with the tomatoes and spread it to cover the slice. Top each sandwich with one of the remaining 4 toast slices, cheesy side down, and serve with a pickle spear and
tortilla chips.

Lil's new mouthwatering Out of the Lunch Box feature continues with celebrity chefs and restaurateurs creating their ultimate sandwiches for elementary school kids. We can't wait to serve up all the amazing recipes!
Source: "Courtesy Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist, Houghton Mifflin 2010".

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