Make Ahead

Tonnato Toast With Colorful Radishes

October  4, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Melina Hammer
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

March in the Hudson Valley straddles the final chilly clutches of winter with the first days of soft, vernal spring. The tease of warmer days has already begun, even though jagged snow piles still sit, appearing as misshapen mounds swept to the edges of the landscape. I wholly admit to longing for tender green things by now. For the time being, sturdy, colorful radishes from my favorite farmers will have to do. A quick dish made with wonderfully punchy tonnato inches the spirit of al fresco dining just a little bit closer. Add a rich slather to toast. Pile the radishes as abundantly as you like. Juicy, salty, crunchy celebration, for spring is just around the corner. P.S. After draining the tuna, save that oil for salads or cooked grains. And to read more about the range of tonnato, head here. —Melina Hammer

What You'll Need
  • Tonnato
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (6.7-ounce) jar oil-packed tuna, drained (save oil for dressing or cooking beans/grains)
  • 3 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed of their salt
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • Toasts
  • 1 small watermelon radish, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 large watermelon radish, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 purple watermelon radish, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 baguette (bonus if it’s a seeded loaf), cut in half lengthwise and toasted till golden
  • 1/4 cup tonnato (above)
  1. Tonnato
  2. Combine the mayonnaise, tuna, capers, anchovies, pepper, oil, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water in a small high-speed blender or food processor. Blitz until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add another tablespoon of water and blitz again. Transfer the tonnato to a jar with a lid and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 week.
  1. Toasts
  2. When you’re ready to eat, in a small bowl, mix the radish slices and parsley with the vinegar, a drizzle of oil, and a pinch of pepper until combined. Use only enough oil to give sheen to the radishes, not bog them down. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. Arrange the toasts on a plate. Slather the tonnato onto each half. Pile the radish mixture to top, then finish with a few generous grinds of cracked pepper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
  • Melina Hammer
    Melina Hammer
Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

2 Reviews

Regine March 18, 2021
Had this for dinner with regular radishes and toasted French baguette. Delicious. However, because it is liquidy it can be messy when you eat it (after you’ve spread the tonnato on top of the bread). I have some leftover which I plan to it with pasta. Thanks for this delicious meal.
Melina H. March 19, 2021
Yes! True, the tonnato can seep through or be squished out as you hungrily munch. It’s like the pizza slice of open faced-sandwiches. :) adding it to pasta will be so good. I can see that with a healthy shower of parsley and cracked pepper....Now it want some!