It’s Easter and we are on holidays on the beautiful South Coast of NSW.
A few unstructured days of walking along the beach, sleeping in and opening a Champagne every afternoon around 2.
(Even Max the 10-month old seems to be getting into it, sleeping in until 7.45 and then going back to bed with a bottle.)
With such a theme of relaxation and “who cares?”, it seemed appropriate to have this toastie one evening for dinner. A extraordinary toastie that on every level, tells you to sit down, shut up and just eat it.
For there are plenty of times for chicken breast and salad and abstaining from wine and life.
But Easter isn’t that time.
Which is why, right now, it’s five-cheese, toastie time and nobody here felt guilt or apologised for it*.
(The recipe is from the always reliable, Gourmet Traveller.)
200gm firm ricotta
75gm cheddar, coarsely grated
75gm provolone, coarsely grated
75gm Parmesan, finely grated
200gm buffalo mozzarella, thickly sliced
6 slices, pane di casa bread**
Leg ham slices, off the bone
40gm butter, diced
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Stir the ricotta, cheddar, provolone, and Parmesan in a bowl to combine and season to taste. Spread two of the bread slices with the cheese mixture, then top each with another bread slice.
- Spread with mustard to taste, top with slices of ham and the mozzarella. Season to taste and sandwich with the remaining 2 slices of bread.
- Melt butter in a large, oven-proof frying pan over a medium heat, add sandwiches and fry until browned on the base: 1 – 2 minutes. Carefully turn over and brown the other side, then transfer in the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbling: 3 – 4 minutes.
Carefully remove from the oven and spoon the remaining butter in the pan over the top of the toasties and serve hot.
* Once you have done this sandwich, please try Matt Preston’s amazing toasted sandwich, something we unironically cooked one NYE evening!
** A rustic, thick crust white Italian bread cooked on a stone. Or try sourdough.