Saturday Supper: Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Tomato Sandwich on the Grill

Kind of hot out, no? Can't say that I love it. Don't worry, you won't find me complaining about the cold in the winter, unless say it's -10 and we're trying to ski and my boot heaters won't keep up with the cold. It doesn't happen often. I stay home in front of the fire on those days.

So when it's 101 degrees outside in a town where no one has central air and people melt at 80, it's only right to invite all your friends and their babies to swim in the pool, which dips behind the shade of several large hemlocks after 4pm. When you invite seven friends over at 5pm and ask your mom to don her life-guarding hat (or rubber cap, I suppose), you'd better be prepared to feed them all. And if you're inviting all these friends to your mother's house when it's 101 and the only "air conditioning" is a couple of box fans you brought home from college a gazillion years ago, you had better not heat up her house by turning on the oven or stove.
This, my friends, is hands-down my absolute favorite feed-a-crowd party meal. It's especially fabulous in the summer when tomatoes are in season and the grill has nary a cobweb in sight. Trust me, try it. Quick, before the weather changes and the news anchors are all "OMG the cold!"

Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Tomato Sandwich on the Grill
8+ generous servings, depending on the size of your bread

2 large loaves of fresh Italian bakery bread
good quality balsamic vinaigrette
extra virgin olive oil (optional)
12-16 ultra thin slices of prosciutto
8oz of fresh mozzarella, double if you're a cheese lover (we use Bel Gioioso), sliced ultra thin
3-5 large fresh tomatoes, sliced so you have enough slices to cover both sandwiches
several handfuls of arugula - approx 6 loosely packed cups, or one box from the grocery
salt & pepper
kitchen twine, cut to 8 lengths that will each wrap around each loaf of bread and tie in a knot

1. Preheat grill to ~350 degrees

2. Cut both loaves of bread in half. Hollow out most of the softest bread from the top half, leaving approximately half and inch of crust and bread. This isn't an exact science, you're just making room for the toppings so the arugula doesn't burn.  Suggestion: tear the leftovers into small cubes and toss lightly with balsamic, salt and pepper and bake in a toaster oven for croutons

3. Drizzle the bottom half of the loaves with balsamic and just a touch of olive oil (olive oil optional). Top with salt and pepper

4. Arrange prosciutto evenly in a thin layer over entire bottom half, repeat so you have two ultra thin layers of prosciutto

5. Place thin slices and shaves of mozzarella evenly over the prosciutto

6. Top mozzarella evenly with one layer of tomato slices

7. Fill each hollowed-out top half loosely with arugula. Don't pack the arugula too tightly or the flavor will overpower the sandwich

8. Place each bottom half in the center of 4 lengths of evenly spaced kitchen twine

9. Working with one loaf at a time, gently cover the sandwich with the arugula-filled top half. While pressing down lightly, gently tuck in any arugula, tomato and cheese sticking out the sides of the sandwich - you don't want these to burn or melt out of the sandwich

10. Tie each of the 4 lengths of twine snugly, repeat with second sandwich

11. Place sandwiches directly on the grill. Cook for 5-10 minutes on each side being careful not to let the bread burn, but making sure the cheese is heated through (and preferably not oozing) before removing from the grill

12. With a serrated knife, cut each sandwich into 6 or more pieces, serve immediately - preferably with a garden salad, potato chips and ice cold iced tea - all which won't raise the temp in your kitchen at all


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  1. That's too funny! I thought I made that sandwich up! I love to use smoked mozerella and basil, but I'm going to have to try the arugula. I also use a brick covered in foil (yes, a brick from my backyard) to ensure that it gets all cooked up.

  2. Oops! I forgot to write basil - we definitely add fresh basil since it's growing like weeds around here! Isn't it the most delicious sandwich? Especially straight off the grill :)


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