My son came home one day recently and asked, “can you buy prosciutto”? I guess he had a prosciutto sandwich somewhere in his travels and he really liked it. He knows I’m a sucker for anything he or my husband ask for in the kitchen. Next thing I knew, I was standing at the deli counter ordering prosciutto with this little Italian lady standing next to me saying “ next time get the boiled ham – it’s much cheaper and nobody will know the difference”. I looked at her, smiled and thought she’s probably right.
I went with my original plan and purchased the precious prosciutto (try saying that 3 times fast), then I made my way home to concoct what I thought would be a crowd pleaser…. grilled prosciutto quesadillas. I got the recipe from one of my favorite recipe resources, Fine Cooking Magazine. I whipped up a double batch of these quesadillas and wow, were they ever a hit. I got a mighty big thank you from my son and even a hug (he’s not much of a hugger so I knew he was really happy!).
These quesadillas are super easy to put together and they would be great as an appetizer at your next party.
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
5 oz. baby spinach (approx. 5 lightly packed cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cup grated fontina
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 7-8 inch pitas split into two rounds (or 2 wraps stacked one on top of another)
6 thin slices prosciutto
Heat oil and garlic in 10 inch skillet over medium high heat until the garlic starts to sizzle steadily and browns in places (about 2 mins but watch it carefully because it can quickly go from sizzling to burnt). Add the spinach, sprinkle with approximately ¼ tsp each salt and pepper, and cook, tossing until just wilted which will take about 2 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander. Let cool for a few minutes, discard the garlic, and gently squeeze out the excess liquid from the spinach.
In a medium bowl, toss the spinach with the fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano, sun-dried tomatoes, and ¼ tsp pepper. Set 3 of the pita halves on a workspace and top each with 2 slices of prosciutto. Top each evenly with the spinach mixture and set the remaining 3 pita halves on top (or if using wraps set the remaining wraps on top).
Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel and heat the pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, coat the bottom with canola oil and place one of the pita sandwiches in the hot pan. Set another medium skillet on top. Put 2 lbs of weight in the empty skillet on top and cook the sandwich until the bottom starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until it browns and the cheese melts. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Cook remaining sandwiches the same way. Cut into wedges and serve.
PS The last step of cooking the sandwiches can be made super easy with a Panini maker. My Panini maker was one of the best kitchen gadget investments I’ve made and I hate to buy unnecessary kitchen gadgets.