• Yield: 2 to 3 servings

  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking, 35 minutes total


  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced (optional)

  • 1 very small garlic clove, minced

  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 8-inch round crusty country loaf or small ciabatta, halved

  • 1 Kirby cucumber or 1/2 regular cucumber

  • 1 medium-size, ripe tomato, sliced

  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced

  • 1 jar (5 to 6 ounces) tuna packed in olive oil, drained

  • 8 large basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons sliced pitted olives, preferably a mix of black and green

  • 1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and thinly sliced.


1. In a small bowl, whisk together the optional anchovies, the garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly.

2. If using a country loaf, pull out some soft interior crumb to form a cavity. If using a ciabatta, you won’t need to eliminate anything.

3. If using a Kirby cucumber, slice thinly. If using a regular cucumber, peel, halve lengthwise, and scoop out seeds from one half. Thinly slice seedless half. Add sliced cucumber to vinaigrette and toss well.

4. Spread half the cucumbers on bottom of bread. Top with tomato and onion slices, then with tuna, basil, olives and egg slices. Top egg with remaining cucumbers and vinaigrette. Cover with second bread half and firmly press sandwich together.

5. Wrap sandwich tightly in foil, waxed paper or plastic wrap, then place in a plastic bag. Put sandwich under a weight such as a cast-iron frying pan topped with a filled kettle, or have a child about 7 years old sit on it. Weight sandwich for 7 to 10 minutes, then flip and weight it for another 7 to 10 minutes (or as long as you can get the child to sit still). Unwrap, slice and serve immediately, or keep it wrapped for up to 8 hours before serving.

Reprinted from A Good Appetite: Lunch Recipe: Take One 7-Year-Old in The New York Times by Melissa Clark.

Melissa Clark
Melissa Clark is a food writer, author, and host of our new podcast Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark. She is a food columnist for The New York Times, and has written more than 30 cookbooks including Dinner in an Instant, Cook This Now, and In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.