Ina Garten Reinvents The Tuna Sandwich

Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten takes a humdrum tuna sandwich and transforms it into something exotic in a matter of minutes.

Tuna & Hummus Sandwiches - Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?EASY DOES IT | Celebrity chef and Food Network cooking show host Ina Garten’s latest cookbook, Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That? has been flying off the shelves since it first hit bookstores last October, and it’s easy to see why. Garten understands that few among us have the time or energy to prepare elaborate, complicated meals for our family and friends. She also knows that despite these impediments, we do want to have delicious, interesting things to eat, and to entertain too, if it isn’t going to derail us.

With How Easy Is That?, her seventh cookbook, Garten responds to our time/stress conundrum by providing 88 tasty recipes that rely on easy-to-find ingredients and easy cooking techniques. But don’t let the lack of complication fool you. These recipes—from cocktails and main courses to desserts—result in deep, satisfying and unexpected flavours, like the unusual tuna and hummus sandwiches pictured above. Garten says a sandwich she enjoyed at Le Pain Quotidian, one of her favourite restaurants, inspired the recipe, which she shares with Frugalbits readers here. “Who knew that tuna and hummus would be such a good combination.”

Tuna & Hummus Sandwiches

Makes 6 sandwiches

14 oz jarred or canned Italian tuna in olive oil
1/4 cup minced celery
2 tbsp minced yellow onion
2 tbsp minced cornichons
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp good mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Sourdough bread, halves and sliced 1/2 inch thick
Hummus, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
Fresh radishes, sliced

Drain the oil from the tuna, reserving the oil. Place the tuna in a mixing bowl and flake it with a fork. Add the celery, onion, cornichons, lemon juice, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil, the mustard, salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavours to develop.

Toast the bread and spread each slice with a layer of hummus. Spread the tuna salad on each piece of bread, garnish with slices of radish, and serve immediately.


Makes 2 cups

2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid preserved (15.5 oz can)
1/3 cup tahini or sesame paste
4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
8 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 tsp kosher salt

Place chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely puréed. The hummus should be moist and thick; add more lemon juice or reserved chickpea liquid to thin, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for several hours for the flavours to blend. Taste for seasonings.

Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That? Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips is published by Clarkson Potter and available at Barbara-Jo’s Books To Cooks or online at

Photo: Quentin Bacon, courtesy Clarkson Potter

  • Brigette Stevens

    Hi Ina

    My family and I really love watching you cook, the simple but oh so dilicious meals, we have tried a few and they are really very tasty, I am in Cape Town, South Africa and when I speak to my friends about their favourite foodnetwork show, you are the number one!! Keep cooking I learn a lot from you, and I have a lot of time for myself now that I can cook some of your easy meals,

    Brigette, family and friends in South Africa

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