If you think you won't enjoy the cookbook Grilled Cheese Please!, one of our must haves for March, this recipe will change your mind. It's author and cheese expert Laura Werlin's grilled cheese with crispy prosciutto and broccoli rabe.
It's one of the best sandwiches I've ever made: it's gooey, crunchy, cheesy, and just plain delicious! Although the ingredients are simple, this sandwich oozes sophistication. I served it at a party paired with red pepper soup, and it was a sensation.
The key to a perfect sandwich is to follow Werlin's technique exactly. She recommends cooking it low and slow to achieve a beautiful crispness on the outside and delightful meltedness on the inside. Ready to check it out? Keep reading.
8 thin slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
12 ounces broccoli rabe (about 1 bunch), tough stems removed and coarsely chopped (or use Swiss chard or Tuscan kale)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 sandwich-size slices Italian bread (or use pain au levain or sourdough)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced if water-packed; otherwise coarsely grated
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and line a plate with paper towels.
- Add the prosciutto slices to the skillet (you made need to do this in batches) and cook until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to the paper towels to drain. The prosciutto will become crisper as it cools.
- Add enough oil to make 2 tablespoons fat in the pan. Heat over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, tender, and bright green yet caramelized around a few of the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. (Add water to the pan if it seems dry.) Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt and toss to coat. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a plate. Wipe out the skillet, but don't wash it.
- To assemble: Brush the remaining oil on one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices of bread, oil side down, on your work surface. Distribute the broccoli rabe and follow with the prosciutto. Pile the cheese on top, compressing it with your hand if necessary, and top with the remaining bread slices, oil side up.
- For stovetop method: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches into the pan, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the undersides are golden brown. Turn the sandwiches, pressing each one firmly with a spatula to flatten slightly. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the undersides are well browned.
- Remove the cover, turn the sandwiches once more, and press firmly with the spatula once again. Cook for 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted completely. Remove from the pan and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half and serve.
- For sandwich-maker method: Preheat the sandwich maker. Follow the directions for assembly above. Cook according to manufacturer's instructions.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
- Main Dishes, Sandwiches