Over the weekend, I remembered a Tuna Panini I had once seen in Cooking Light magazine and whipped it up for lunch with Hubs. I chopped and mixed the ingredients, spread the rich and flavorful filling between two dense slices of bread, topped with cheese, and grilled the sandwiches until golden and gooey. Then, I arranged them on plates with apple wedges and proceeded to snap a few pictures before finally enjoying our simple lunch.
It was while Hubs and I were eating that I realized that although these Tuna Paninis are delicious and a different way to enjoy canned tuna, they won't work as a Lenten recipe. One of the things that makes these grilled sandwiches so delightful is that they include bacon. Fish Friday Fail. But, a tasty, tasty fail, indeed.
(adapted from Cooking Light)
3 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus additional for "buttering" the bread
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 (5-ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked (I prefer tuna packed in oil for more flavor.)
8 slices sourdough bread
4 slices provolone cheese
Combine onion, mayonnaise, lemon rind, fennel seeds, and pepper in a medium bowl.
Add the tuna and bacon and stir to coat.
"Butter" one side of each slice of bread with a thin coating of mayonnaise. (Trust me on this, it makes perfectly golden toasted bread.)
Divide the tuna mixture between 4 of the slices of bread and spread evenly.
Top the tuna with the provolone and remaining slices of bread to form 4 sandwiches.
Heat a cast iron panini pan or sandwich maker to medium heat.
Place sandwiches (one or two at a time...whatever fits) on grill of pan or panini maker, placing lid on top.
Cook 3 minutes on each side (won't need to flip sandwiches in panini maker), or until lightly browned.