Grilled Tuna Salad Sandwiches with Lemon-Habanero Mayonnaise and Watercress

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 49 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 14 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 cups fresh lemon juice

1/2 to 1 whole habanero chile, chopped (only use the whole if you like it hot)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 cup best-quality mayonnaise

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 large stalk celery, finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 (8-ounce) tuna steaks

Olive oil

8 slices hearty bread (Italian, French, ciabatta, or country white)



  1. Heat grill to high. Place lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to boil on the grates of the grill. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly. Leave grill on high heat.
  2. Place lemon syrup, habanero, lemon zest, and mayonnaise in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the onions, celery, and parsley and set aside.
  3. Brush tuna with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred and cooked to medium doneness. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before cutting into small dice or flaking with a fork. Add the flaked tuna to the mayonnaise mixture and gently mix until combined. Divide the tuna salad among 4 slices of bread. Top the salad with a few sprigs of watercress and top with the remaining bread.