Light Essentials: Tuna, Rice & Cheese Tower

Andy Anderson !


I came up with recipe last evening, when I just wanted to create something different. It is simple to put together, and the presentation is awesome.

As towers go, it is too big to be an appetizer; however, it might be used as a starter for a light dinner. I had it last night on a bed of fresh greens, drizzled with a bit of balsamic reduction, and a glass of white wine. So yummy.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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20 Min
5 Min



  • 1 c
    long-grain white rice, cooking directions to follow
  • 2 slice
    thick-slab bacon

  • 4 oz
    tuna, one small can
  • 3 Tbsp
    mayonnaise, plain variety
  • 2 Tbsp
    pickle relish, dill or sweet, your choice
  • 2 Tbsp
    yellow or brown mustard
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • ·
    black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

  • 4 slice
    swiss cheese
  • ·
    salad greens
  • ·
    balsamic reduction

How to Make Light Essentials: Tuna, Rice & Cheese Tower


  2. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  3. Cook the rice and reserve.
  4. Chef’s Tip: Most long-grain white rice requires a two-to-one ratio (two parts water to one part rice). I prefer to reduce the water by 25 percent, and cut the simmering time by five minutes. I think the rice has a more distinct mouth feel, and makes it less mushy.
  5. Cook the bacon to your desired crispiness, and then drain on paper towels.
  7. Add the tuna salad ingredients to a small bowl.
  8. Use a fork to gently combine the ingredients.
  9. Not all tuna brands are created equal. I prefer a brand called: Wild Planet Albacore, water packed. They do not just dredge the sea with huge nets, picking up everything in their paths; instead they are 100% pole and line caught. In addition, they catch the younger tuna, and that means they have had less time to absorb toxins. And the best part is that it tastes great. It is a win-win situation.
  10. Chef’s Tip: I think that everyone likes their tuna salad a different way. Some like chopped hard-boiled eggs; some do not. Some like chopped onions; some do not. You get the idea. The ingredients I chose are what I like, so make the tuna salad pretty much anyway you like… After all, you are the chef.
  11. Take two ounces of rice, and press it into the ring.
  12. Take half of the tuna, and press it into the ring.
  13. Add another two ounces of rice, and press down firmly.
  14. Remove the ring, and repeat for the second tower.
  15. Lay two pieces of Swiss cheese on the top of each of the rice/tuna towers.
  16. Place into the oven, and bake until the cheese melts over the towers, and begins to bubble, about 4 – 6 minutes.
  17. Chef’s Tip: If the cheese gets too hot, it will melt, slide down the tower, and puddle at the bottom. So, as soon as it melts, and coats the sides of the tower, it is ready.
  19. Chef’s Note: I like to cut it in half before laying on the greens, but that is totally up to you.
  20. Lay some fresh garden greens on a plate, drizzle with a bit of balsamic reduction, and lay the tuna/rice/cheese tower on top. Finally, add that yummy bacon.Enjoy.
  21. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Light Essentials: Tuna, Rice & Cheese Tower

Course/Dish: Seafood
Main Ingredient: Seafood
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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