Hot Mozzarella Focaccia

This is a Nigel Slater recipe which I discovered in one of my boyfriend’s books. We tried it one day and it’s a real go-to lunch now!

It’s a warm grilled focaccia sandwich with marinated mozzarella, spring onions and parma ham inside. Absolutely fantastic and so long as you’ve planned to have it, takes literally 10 minutes from start to finish. And it’s yum.

I’ve changed his recipe a bit, so the cheese has a little longer to marinade, the parma ham is crisp and the bread is toasted first before grilling it. I think it works better this way, somehow the contrasting textures of the silky mozzarella, crisp ham and bread make it even nicer!

Ingredients – for 2

2-3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 balls of mozzarella (buffalo is best but if you don’t like that, a really good quality cow’s milk cheese is just fine)

4 small squares of focaccia (it’s really tough to find this in supermarkets. Waitrose used to have it but stopped selling it about 2 weeks ago 😦 I We’ve used ciabatta though, which works just fine. Just make sure you press down hard because the aim is for this to be a really easy-to-eat-and-hold sandwich. But keep your eyes peeled, I’m hoping to make focaccia in the new year so if that recipe works out I’ll post it!)

A pack of parma ham

1 birds eye chilli

2 cloves of garlic

Extra virgin olive oil

 

1. Marinate the mozzarella by cutting it into slices and arranging on a plate or a shallow dish. Chop the chilli finely and mince the garlic, mix these with as much olive oil as you’d like and pour it on top. Make sure it’s evenly distributed before you wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge. I usually keep it there for about 3 hours, but the minimum would be about half an hour.

2. After the cheese has marinated, chop the spring onions and saute them in a griddle pan on a medium to high heat. You’ll only need a little olive oil. I like to use some of the oil used for marinating the cheese, it gives the whole sandwich a nice consistency of flavour.

3. Remove the spring onions and keep them on a small plate. Turn the heat up on the pan and add the parma ham so it crisps up beautifully.

4. While the ham is crisping, halve the focaccia and put them in the toaster or under the grill of your oven.

5. Assemble the sandwiches by layering the parma ham, then adding the cheese on top of that and finally the spring onions. Then griddle the whole thing on the pan, flipping it over after about 2-3 minutes so that it’s nice and charred and piping hot.

Eat immediately!

Enjoy!

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