Charred Spanish Ham Cheese Melts and Hot Olives with Herbs and Spices
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
No special equipment needed for these Spanish-inspired paninis—Rachael Ray suggests using your grill instead!
Servings: Serves 4
  • 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
Form sandwiches of Serrano and cheese in equal amounts. Grind the hot pickled vegetables and the sweet pickle relish in food processor and pulse chop to make a relish. Spread the relish evenly on sandwich tops and set into place.

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.

FROM: Oprah's Gardens: A Private Tour
Published on January 01, 2006


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