Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Prosciutto and Provolone Melts with Spinach Pesto

The next time you’re ready for a ham and cheese sandwich, take it to higher level with no fuss and little time. Instead of regular deli ham, choose thin slices of rich and wonderfully salty prosciutto stacked on sourdough bread with creamy provolone melted on top.

Skip the mayo, mustard, or whatever, and make the condiment a little special too. Pesto—that savory, flavor-packed, pretty green, no-cook sauce—is just the thing to keep the Italian theme going. For this recipe, I used spinach and parsley, but you can go traditional with a basil-based pesto and enhance the floral flavor even more.

Serves 2

  • 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves (or chopped larger leaves)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp small, broken walnut pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices sourdough bread (6-7 inches long)
  • 1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup coarsely shredded provolone cheese
Pesto Ingredients
Sourdough Bread Slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the spinach, parsley, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Grind until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides again and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
Ready to Grind
Ground Ingredients
Oil Added 
Spinach Pesto with Cheese Stirred In
  1. Lay all 4 bread slices cut-side up on the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the bread slices over. 
  2. Spread 1/2 the pesto on 2 bottom pieces. Top the pesto with prosciutto (folding as needed) and divide the provolone on top of the prosciutto.
  3. Place the pan back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and the tops are browned, 3 minutes. 
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the tops with the remaining pesto. Close the sandwiches.
Baked Bread 
Pesto Layer
Prosciutto Layer 
Cheese Layer
Baked Sandwiches
Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut diagonally in half. Serve right away.

Prosciutto and Provolone Melts with Spinach Pesto

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