Air fryer Tuna Melts in Endive (Chicorée) Boats

Every Monday morning I normally place our bio food delivery for the week from Lehmanns Bio Service, who delivers the next day. As I normally work from home, I have my first coffee of the day while I choose what recipes to make for the week, based on Lehmann’s weekly trends (what’s new, what’s in transition or different, what’s finished for the season, and what’s on sale).

This past Monday I had a meeting with a mutual client of Ralph’s in Hamburg where Ralph’s office is. It was a whirlwind morning, getting up earlier than usual to shower, feed Mogly, and catch a train to Hamburg. I had to run in high-heel boots to go get a ticket as we were late leaving the house. This experience made me ever more grateful to work from home…office life and commuting is clearly not for me!

I had some time before the meeting began, so I placed my bio order with my mobile. I had no idea what to make, so just quickly ordered what I knew we were out of and a few things they had on sale such as endive (Chicorée), Postelein (a local lettuce this time of year, similar to lamb’s lettuce), and a chunk of chili mango cheese.

Endive lettuce is great to use for appetizers, as they turn into little firm boats that you can top with whatever you’d like, such as tuna tartar Ralph made for one of our wine tastings. When I bought endive a few years ago in the winter, I looked up recipes on Pinterest and found many involved baking the lettuce, which I thought was an interesting alternative to just using them in a salad. I’ve since made garlic roasted endives, banked endive leaves with potatoes and ham, and endive potato soup.

For lunch today, I was inspired by my endive heads, chili mango cheese, and Postelein salad to make these air fryer tuna melts. I ate them at my desk, happy to be home.

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • Small head of endive (Chicorée)
  • 80g/2.82oz tuna
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream (you can also use mayo)
  • Grated cheese QB (I used a chili mango cheese, but any hard cheese you like would work i.e. gouda, mozzarella, cheddar)
  • Salt and pepper QB
  • Handful of lettuce, arranged on a platter (I used Postelein, but you can use Lamb’s lettuce or arugula)
  • Olive oil QB


  1. Preheat your air fryer.
  2. Clean the endive head. Break it a part in pieces to form tiny boats (I used 3 leaves for each boat) and arrange on a plate.
  3. Remove liquid from tuna can (I always give that to my dog Mogly…he loves it) and place tuna in a bowl.
  4. Add the diced green onion, sour cream, salt, pepper, and stir to mix.
  5. Top each endive boat with the tuna mixture and grate your cheese over top to cover.
  6. Air fry for 4-6 minutes at 180°C (or less or longer, depending on how charred you want the endive leaves to be).
  7. Add more cheese if you’d like, and drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinkle with parsley if you have some!

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