If you didn’t get the chance to make the simply delightful olive oil-based pain de mie from last week, here goes another reason for giving it a try: this sandwich.
Ok, you don’t have to have homemade bread on hand to start, just use whatever bread – read “good bread” – you like but please, give this recipe a try. It is just that I had my second loaf seated on the counter for a day, watching us coming and go, waiting for a worthy end. And so it had. But after buttering and covering two of its slice in parmesan and sesame seeds everything changed and bread became secondary.
The only problem was, since crust turned out to be that good, I had to find an “as good as” filling combination. After some thoughts classics became my choice: crispy pancetta, sun dried tomatoes spread, fresh mozzarella and water cress. I bet you agree one can’t go wrong with all these ingredients in the same plate, hum?
Usually, there is something about sandwiches that always makes me feel guilty. I suspect it is connected with my Brazilian roots and the idea that good food is the one that sucks all your time up. Not anymore my friends, at least not with this sandwich!
Oh, and before continuing, if you are looking for a vegetarian version, skip pancetta and replace water cress with arugula for a bolder flavor. Want to take it to work? Crust both sides of your bread, build your sandwich and enjoy it cold without losing all the crunchiness.
Parmesan and sesame seeds-crusted sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich
2 thick slices of sandwich bread
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
4 slices fresh mozzarella
3 slices pancetta, cooked until crisp
1 to 2 tbsp sun dried tomato spread
2/3 cup water cress
1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat or use a Panini press if you have one.
2. In a small bowl, mix together parmesan and sesame seeds.
3. Butter the outside of each slice of bread and coat them with parmesan and sesame seed mixture.
4. Assemble sandwich: generously spread sun-dried tomato spread in one slice of bread, top with slices of fresh mozzarella, 3 slices of pancetta, water cress – I recommended about 2/3 of a cup but you can use as much as you can fit in your sandwich, it will shrink after grilling. Top with the other slice of bread.
5. Place the sandwich on the hot pan and grill for about 2 minutes or until parmesan cheese is crusted and golden brown. Flip the sandwich and continue to cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and sandwich is golden brown. Serve immediately.