Saturday, January 2, 2010

Prosciutto, Fontina & Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwiches

Recipe from The Best of Fine Cooking Appetizers and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves ten as an appetizer or two to three as a main course

If you like salty flavors and gooey cheese, you’ll love these little sandwiches. We cut them into wedges and served them as appetizers at our Boxing Day Party. These would also make a very fine lunch for friends along with a hot vegetable soup. You can find all of the ingredients at Lost River Market & Deli!

1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
5 oz. baby spinach (about 5 lightly packed cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups grated fontina cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan cheese
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
Three 7- to 8-inch pitas, each split into two rounds
6 very thin slices prosciutto (about 3-1/2 oz.)

Heat the oven to 250°F. Heat the oil and garlic in a 10-inch heavy-duty skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat until the garlic starts to sizzle steadily and browns in places, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander. Let cool a couple of minutes, discard the garlic, and gently squeeze out the excess liquid from the spinach.
In a medium bowl, toss the spinach with the fontina, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Set 3 of the pita halves on a work space and top each with 2 slices of the prosciutto. Top each evenly with the spinach mixture and set the remaining 3 pita halves on top.
Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel and heat the pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add one of the pita sandwiches and set another medium heavy skillet on top of the sandwich. Put 2 lb. of weights (cans work well) in the empty skillet to weigh it down and cook the sandwich until the bottom starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until it browns and the cheese starts to melt out the sides, about 2 minutes. (You could also use a grill pan like we did, or even a pannini press, fi you have one.) Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Cook the remaining sandwiches in the same manner. Cut the sandwiches in wedges and serve.

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