I’ve always loved the fleshiness of jarred artichoke hearts and the way their meat tears into petals and chunks. Just like their texture, their wonderful brininess reminds me a lot of canned tuna. Which is why it wasn’t a huge jump for me to shred them into chunks and prepare them like a tuna melt—spread on bread, smothered beneath a blanket of gooey cheese, for a lunch, dinner, or even midnight snack. To make up for the umami that tuna has, I blitzed a few sheets of toasted nori into fine powder using my coffee grinder (a tiny food processor also works), and then turned that powder into a dressing for the artichoke hearts. The powdered nori adds so much more flavor than shredded or torn bits would, because the seaweed has a chance to find its way into all the nooks and crevices of the flaked artichokes. When it comes to bread, you could pick a white sandwich loaf, sliced ciabatta, or English muffins. And while I love provolone here, you could also use any sliced or shredded cheese you have on hand. For even more creaminess, I love to add a few slices of avocado on top of the artichoke salad before I layer on my cheese.
Editor’s Note: For another tuna-inspired vegetarian sandwich—that also takes advantage of nori’s brininess—check out this chickpea version from Sarah Jampel. It would similarly welcome melty cheese on top (provolone, cheddar, Gruyère, you name it), to become gooey and blistered under the broiler. —Jerrelle Guy
slices of bread (see Author Notes)
(12-ounce) jars whole artichoke hearts in water, drained and squeezed dry
sheets nori (about 8x7 ½ inches), ground into powder (makes about 3 tablespoons)
Heat the oven to broil and place a rack 4 to 5 inches away from the top coil. Arrange the slices of bread on a sheet pan, and broil for about 2 minutes per side until crusty and brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Add the artichoke hearts to a medium bowl, and roughly shred them with your hands or a couple of forks. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground nori, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, ground ginger, and black pepper. Add the dressing to the artichokes and massage everything using your hands.
Spread about ¼ cup of the artichoke salad onto each toast, top with a slice of cheese, and place back under the broiler for another 2 minutes or until the cheese is just melted. Serve immediately.