I dare you to not fall in love with this grilled cheese.
In 2005, my husband I lived in Los Angeles for a summer while he filmed Mission Impossible 3. Other than a quick visit or driving through, I hadn’t spent much time in Tinseltown. Other than a quick visit or driving through, I haven’t been back. A great place to visit but I hope I never to live there again. I have a love-hate relationship with the city of Angels. I love the almost always sunny weather but I hate the traffic. I love the pleathora of great Mexican food and all the ethnic food for that matter but I hate the traffic. I love the beaches and being near the ocean but I hate the traffic. I adored the neighborhood we lived in with it’s quaint small town feel but I hate the traffic. I really loved being so close to Magic Mountain but guess what? I hate the traffic. So I guess if I could live in L.A without all the traffic I might really dig it. But the amount of time I spent on the 405 and the 101 have scarred me for life.
With Pete working the crazy long hours that he did, I was often left to my own devices. I was uber excited when we first arrived, hoping to hop around the city and explore all the different neighboring towns. I had restaurants I wanted to check out, beaches I wanted to visit and I couldn’t wait to plan some day trips to Ventura and Newport. But… the traffic was a nightmare. All DAY. EVERY DAY. Outings that I thought would take me an hour or so would take half the day and sometimes more. I’d come back to the guest house we were renting in tears. For the first time in life, I understood road rage. Luckily, though, we lived in a cool little area of the Valley and I quickly learned to appreciate the ease of staying in my own neighborhood. For months I didn’t really venture out of a 15 block radius. I learned to knit, I hiked Runyon Canyon every day and I found a funky and fantastic coffee joint that I’d walk to each morning. Aside from hiking, knitting and drinking coffee, I didn’t do a whole lot that summer. Unless laying around watching t.v counts. It was the summer of leisure. And it was ridiculously hot, so laying in the air conditioned guest house alternating between watching T.V and going for a dip in the pool we shared with our landlords, the summer turned out to be not that bad at all.
This sandwich is an homage to that summer. I must have made it 20+ times over the course of a few months. Because we were kidless at the time and I was pretty much husbandless, I could make the same thing over and over for lunch and dinner and no one would complain. (Ahh, the good old days.) I would sit in front of the t.v, knitting to one side of me and this sandwich and a glass of wine on the other. Thinking back, L.A wasn’t so bad. Sure I didn’t venture out that much and just thinking of sitting in traffic gives me hives but I had no where to be and nothing to do for 3 whole months. Never in my life have I had that kind of freedom. I can’t help but think back on that summer and not think about this sandwich. And smile. What I wouldn’t do to lay around the house all day watching t.v. Even if just for a day.
This sandwich combines two of my favorite things: prosciutto and melon and the ever comforting grilled cheese sandwich. If you’ve never tried crispy prosciutto before, you have not lived. Go for a hike, pull out your knitting (or whatever floats your boat) and pour a glass of wine. Make this sandwich, sit back and relax. That is how this sandwich is meant to be enjoyed.
This makes 4 sandwiches. The measurements are not exact- play around until you get it how you like it. Make sure to cook the prosciutto but after that, the ball is in your court!
- 4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- 5 oz fontina cheese, grated
- thinly sliced canteloupe
- fresh arugula
- 8 sliced rustic Italian or French bread, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons butter
- To make the 'crispy' prosciutto, preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Line the prosciutto on a baking sheet lined with parchment and when oven is heated up, put the pan of prosciutto in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes, just until crispy. Take care not to burn as it will continue to crisp after you pull it out.
- When ready to assemble the sandwich, butter one side of each slice of bread.
- Heat a griddle pan to medium heat and place the bread, buttered side down on the griddle. Divide the cheese evenly amongst the bread and cook, adjusting heat if necessary so that the buttered side browns the cheese melts.
- When cheese is melted, add 1/4 of the prosciutto to 4 pieces of bread. To the other four slices, add thinly sliced melon and a handful of arugula. Drizzle each slice of bread with the arugula with a teaspoon or so of honey.
- Sandwich the arugula and prosciutto sides of bread together. Cut in half and enjoy.