Charred Spanish Ham Cheese Melts and Hot Olives with Herbs and Spices
- 8 slices crusty bread from a good-size loaf, 1/2 inch thick, at least 5 inches across and 3 inches wide
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced Serrano ham
- 1/3 to 1/2 pound manchego , thinly sliced with sharp knife or cheese plane
- 1 cup hot pickled vegetable salad of cauliflower, carrots, celery and hot peppers (giardiniera) drained
- 1/2 cup sweet pickled red pepper relish or sweet pickle relish
- 2 cups mixed good quality olives
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves , finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Extra-virgin olive oil , EVOO, for drizzling
Place olives in a foil pouch and season with thyme, lemon zest, cumin seeds and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with EVOO and seal the pouch. Place pouch on grill and cook a few minutes on each side to heat the olives, herbs and spices.
Place sandwiches on grill and weigh down with heavy skillet or a brick covered in foil. Char and heat the sandwiches through—2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Cut sammies in half and serve with hot olives on the side.