To say that I get a tad frustrated cooking for 4 children with varied palates is an understatement, but I know I am not alone. I want to broaden their culinary horizons, but at the same time, I do not want to have to throw out an amazing beef bourguignon because they don’t like it (I would share it with friends, not actually throw it out, but you catch my drift).
Because of this eternal parenting dilemma, I am always trying to reinvent dishes I know they will all actually eat and enjoy. By the end of this month, I was fresh out of energy and ideas for dinner, but by some stroke of luck I had this fabulous idea – Italian BLT’s. This is a very simple dish, but don’t let that fool you, because it delivers maximum flavor.
Serve these delectable sandwiches by themselves, with a salad, or alongside a vegetable soup as I did (truth-be-told, I wanted to make the soup seem more exciting to the kids by serving these sandwiches with it – and it worked).
*Adjust amounts based on how many sandwiches you want to make.
- Sliced bread – now this is a personal choice of course, but I used a sliced Italian bread because that is what I had on hand. I actually think Ciabatta bread would be an even more delicious choice.
- Prosciutto – thinly sliced (2 slices per sandwich), I went with the domestic brand to save money, but the imported Italian prosciutto is the stuff dreams are made of.
- Sun-dried tomatoes (approx. 1 tbls per sandwich, diced). This is sold in jars, whole or diced, usually in pasta aisle.
- Baby Spinach, 1 handful per sandwich
- Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Olive oil or cooking spray for pan
- Assemble all your delicious ingredients on your counter or cutting board.
- Preheat a saute pan to medium heat.
- Lay out all the slices of bread you will need, keeping the slices close together so as not to waste any cheese while grating. Grate a generous amount of each cheese over the sliced bread (you can buy the cheese already grated to save time, but you will save money if you buy it in wedges).
- Gently lay 2 slices of prosciutto on half of the slices of bread (I say gently, because it deserves to be handled with care) and then cover them with a good handful of spinach.
- On the other half of the bread slices sprinkle your diced sun-dried tomatoes on top of the grated cheeses.
- If you are so inclined you can certainly add more cheese to the sandwich halves at this point and you can justify that it’s glue to hold the sandwich together.
- Add enough olive oil or cooking spray to just cover the bottom of your saute pan.
- Carefully marry the two halves of each sandwich together and place them in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes a side or to your desired crispiness.
- Cut these delicious sandwiches into halves or strips to serve as dippers for soup.
- Sit back and watch them disappear as your adoring family devours them and then fights over who gets to clean the kitchen for you while you put your feet up and read a book…. Okay… that last part was a fantasy, but I can promise your family will love the dish!