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Crafting the Tuna, Fennel, and Lemon 'Wich at Home

October 16, 2011 10:08 am · Posted by Nancy Einhart
The mayo-free tuna sandwich at 'Wichcraft is one of my favorites, and compared to many of the other recipes in the cookbook 'Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich Into a Meal — and a Meal Into a Sandwich, this one is relatively simple. The resulting meal is so magnificently complex and and innovative, I couldn't believe I'd made it all by myself.

As I learned making 'Wichcraft's goat cheese with avocado and celery, this cookbook gives you the option (and the recipes) of making many of the ingredients from scratch. In this case, I skipped the homemade lemon mayo but did make the lemon confit, which was extraordinary. I have since used the thinly sliced, cured lemons on numerous sandwiches and salads, and it's a great accent to have in the fridge.

Silician Tuna With Fennel, Black Olives, and Lemon
From 'Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich Into a Meal — and a Meal Into a Sandwich

For the tuna salad:
2 (6-ounce) cans yellowfin or albacore tuna, drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried Sicilian oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the tuna salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Adjust the seasoning as necessary and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the marinated fennel:
1 medium bulb (about 1/2 pound) fennel
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 baguette
3 tablespoons lemon mayonnaise (optional; I just used regular mayo)
4 tablespoons pitted and chopped Nicoise olives
12 slices lemon confit (recipe below)

  1. To make the marinated fennel, remove the stalks from the fennel and reserve the fronds. Using a mandoline slicer or sharp knife, thinly slice the fennel crosswise starting from the top.
  2. In a bowl, toss the fennel slices in the oil, lemon juice, and reserved fennel fronds, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature to marinate for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice the baguette lengthwise. Spread the mayonnaise evenly across the bottom slice and layer with the tuna salad, fennel, olives, confit, and fennel fronds. Drizzle some of the oil from the confit on the inside of the top slice of the baguette. Close the sandwiches, cut into three or four equal pieces, and serve.

Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches.

Lemon Confit
12 lemons
5 shallots, peeled and minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
About 4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

Makes about 4 cups.

  1. Plunge the lemons into a pot of boiling water (this softens any outer layer of wax). Drain, rinse, then wipe the lemons clean. Dry the lemons, then slice them very thin. Discard the ends and remove and discard the seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the shallots with the garlic. In another bowl, mix the salt with the sugar.
  3. Arrange a layer of lemon slices in the bottom of a medium container with a lid, making sure not to overlap the slices. Sprinkle the lemons first with a little shallot mixture, then with some salt and sugar mixture. Repeat, laying lemons in stacks and sprinkling them with the shallot and salt mixtures until the final lemon slices are topped with the last salt and shallot mixtures. As you carefully layer the lemons, layer in stacks. Cover the container and refrigerate for 3 days, flipping the stacks halfway through the process, allowing the lemons to cure evenly.
  4. Remove and drain the lemons in a strainer for 15 minutes or so. Discard the liquid. Pack the lemons tightly in a jar or other clean container and top it off with oil, making sure to cover all the lemons. The confit can be used immediately or kept in the refrigerator for at least a month.
posted by
10/16/11

Lemon confit is blowing my mind! I'll surely be trying that.


posted by
10/17/11

Yum!!!! :drool:

Question: Can the confit mixture be rinsed prior to covering with oil so that the sodium would be reduced, or would that just much things up?


posted by
10/17/11

*muck


posted by
10/17/11

I like to make sandwiches it so delicious and easy. It take to me 20 min. To make this sandwiches: http://arcadio-cooking.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-fist-professional-sandwic... I have no idea that this is so easy.


posted by
10/28/11

Hey Fuzzles, I think you could rinse it before covering it with oil. It is pretty salty.


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