eat in my kitchen

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Tag: basil

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

I found a new duo that comes close to perfection: chorizo and strawberry. It’s an unexpected match, the fruity sweetness and slightly hot, porky sausage merge beautifully, as if they had just been waiting to meet.

It started as a quick snack while we were cooking, we filled our glasses with our favourite summer wine and looked in the fridge to see what we could nibble on while chopping and stirring the ingredients for our dinner. The red sausage and berries caught my man’s attention and – in these moments he’s a little more brave than me – he sandwiched them and stuffed a rather large portion of it in my mouth. We immediately discussed what we could do with this new find. A salad? I’m not a big fan of meat in my salad. Pasta? I don’t like the combination of pasta and strawberries. I tried it, but it just tastes wrong. An open sandwich seemed like the right answer, a golden Italian bruschetta drizzled with good olive oil, crowned with thick slices of the peppery salami and juicy berries. Some fresh basil, salt, and pepper, and you have the perfect snack for summer on your plate.

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

 

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

Serves 2-4

medium baguette, sliced, 1
olive oil
chorizo (salami, not fresh chorizo sausage) 1/2 ring, about 150g / 5 ounces
ripe strawberries, cut in half, about 18
fresh basil leaves, a small handful
peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
flaky sea salt

To roast the bread, set the oven to broil (grill). If your oven doesn’t have a broil setting, toast the baguette in a hot cast iron pan.

Brush the baguette on both sides with olive oil and, if using your oven, spread them on a baking sheet and roast for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown, but not burnt. If you use a pan, in batches, spread the bread in the pan and toast on both sides until golden.

Depending on the size of your bread, pile up 2 slices of chorizo and 2-3 strawberry halves on each bruschetta. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with basil, crushed pepper, and salt. Enjoy!

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

 

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

 

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

 

Chorizo and Strawberry Bruschetta with Basil

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

I’m sure that I can smell it, I can hear it, if not even feel it on my skin. The promise of spring is in the air. The birds sitting on the naked branches of the tree in front of our living room window know more than us and they sing it out loud. Their voices vibrant and full of energy, they herald winter’s nearing end.

With me, it’s the same every year, I get impatient, frustrated. I can’t wait to pull shorts and dresses out of my wardrobe, and sit outside in one of the city’s cafés on a lazy Saturday afternoon, decadently sipping on a glass of chilled white wine. I want to see ripe tomatoes, lush basil, and plump peas on my kitchen table. I already dreamed of a colourful caprese salad waiting for me on a plate – and then I started to think “Wait, it’s February, hold on!”. But how about a little creativity and open mindedness, what about a winter caprese? There’s mozzarella di Bufala in my fridge, sweet blood oranges replace the tomatoes, and boiled beetroot adds an earthy tone that goes unbelievably well with both the fruit and the cheese. I sprinkled it with a sweet date syrup vinaigrette, but maple syrup would be just as good, and a handful of fresh basil leaves (a hint of summer). It was one of the best lunches I’ve had in a while.

Tomorrow’s the start of the crazy season again, carnival’s back! If you’re looking for some traditional sweet treats for yourself and your loved ones, try one of these sticky fried gems:

German Berliner 

Greek Loukoumades

Maltese Zeppoli

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

Mind that the beetroot has to cook for about 45 minutes.

Serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a starter

medium beetroot 1
bay leaf 1
small blood oranges, peeled and sliced, 4
mozzarella di Bufala, drained and torn into 2 or 4 pieces, 125g / 4 1/2 ounces
fresh basil leaves, a small handful
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar (optional)

For the vinaigrette

olive oil 3 tablespoons
balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon
white balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon
date syrup (or maple syrup) 1/2-1 teaspoon
fine sea salt
ground pepper

Bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil, add the beetroot and bay leaf and cook for about 45 minutes or until the beetroot is tender (prick with a skewer to check). Rinse with cold water and let it cool; then peel and slice the beetroot.

For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, both vinegars, and the date syrup. Season with salt pepper and additional date syrup to taste.

Arrange the beetroot and blood orange in a circle on the plates, place the mozzarella in the middle. Drizzle with the vinaigrette (you might not need all the dressing) and sprinkle with basil and crushed pepper. Serve immediately.

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

 

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

 

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

 

Winter Caprese: Blood Orange, Beetroot, and Mozzarella di Bufala

Camping deluxe – Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala & Honey Butter

Post sponsored by Volkswagen.

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

Although I can’t really call myself an experienced camper, I’m fascinated by the idea of setting up a tent in the middle of nowhere and keeping the signs of civilization to a minimum.

I got my introduction to camping through my boyfriend. To avoid unnecessary difficulties, he chose wisely and decided to give it a go when we were in his home country – a place where you’re never really completely cut off. He convinced me to take a boat to Comino, Malta’s tiny sister island, which is just the right size to jump bravely into our first outdoor adventure without having to worry about too many risks. Our ‘captain’ dropped us off at the shore, along with our two bags, a tent, and a cooling box. It was August, it was unbearably hot, and I found myself in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, on a rocky island. There was not a single tree in sight. My boyfriend, however, looked at the situation with far more optimism. He knows Comino like his back pocket, thanks to countless trips as a child. He set up our rather basic looking tent within less than 10 minutes, with a little help from his clueless German girlfriend (I really tried hard not to be a burden). And when we were done, we jumped into the gentle waves in a lonely bay and I felt a bit like Robinson Crusoe. All of a sudden I started to like this camping idea.

To prepare our dinner, I collected some twigs and my man made a fire. We even managed to exchange a few of our tomatoes from the cooling box with the fresh catch of a passing fisherman. Then I got comfortable: I couldn’t help but turn the rocks around me into a little desert island kitchen. Olive oil, salt, and pepper were ready to marinate the fish and vegetables for our DIY BBQ and we sat down with a glass of wine (a gift from the fisherman). This dinner tasted so good that I could have cried. Maybe that’s part of the whole camping experience, you’re very close to nature, you depend on the weather, the sunlight, the sea, and the food that nature (or your cooling box) offers you. It makes you humble and it opens your senses, everything feels more intense. To smell, taste, feel, and see is essential when you live in and around a tent or camper van. The night came early and covered our little island in the deepest darkness. As soon as the sun sank into the sea, I felt more sleepy than usual, but also more peaceful. I brushed my teeth in the calm sea and went to bed.

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

Most of my activities on the Maltese Islands are documented in thousands of pictures, but the idea of camping – at least in my eyes – is about being unplugged and as far away from any technical devices as possible. So there’s no photographic evidence of my first or our following Comino camping adventures. However, when I spoke to my mother about camping recently, she brought many stories and pictures back to mind that I hadn’t thought of in decades. My parents and my sister went to the Camargue, in southern France in the 70s, to a place with the beautiful name Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. They didn’t have a tent but an old Volkswagen van. I always loved the old photographs, of them on the beach and in old villages, on ancient narrow cobblestone streets. The ease of a camper on their faces. One of the nicest camper vans I know belongs to our friends Luke and Jessica in Malta. Their gorgeous four wheeled gem is baby blue, built in 1968, and its restoration took them 10 months, but all the patience, sweat, and love they put into it was worth it.

Stephanie Le from Canada also shared her love for camping with me in our meet in your kitchen feature a few weeks ago. She’s a pro, she even manages to create a Beef Stroganoff when she’s out in the woods. Stephanie made me think about the culinary challenges that you have to face when you limit your life to a few bags and a grill or gas stove. It also makes a huge difference if you’re in a place that still allows you to forage, or where fishermen offer you the best fish you ever tasted in your whole life. I’m talking about a rather romantic kind of camping here, away from the crowds and civilization and its disturbing visual and acoustic side effects.

Let’s say you’ll be out in the wilderness, for 1-2 nights, and you can upgrade your meal with some fruit and dairy products, the cooling box will keep it fresh for a day. When Volkswagen asked me to come up with a recipe – an eat in my kitchen on the road creation – I couldn’t help but think of camping deluxe. A kind of camping that satisfies the longings of a gourmet who ended up off the beaten track. The senses stimulated by the whole outdoor experience, ready to be caressed by a beautiful plate of farfalle with ripe figs, creamy mozzarella di bufala, velvety honey butter, and fragrant basil. The dried pasta and honey are easy to store, the figs and herbs can be kept in a lunch box, and the mozzarella and butter stay fresh in the cooling box. This would be my ideal treat for a night under the clear black sky.

For more delicious recipes and kitchen inspiration, visit Volkswagen’s Pinterest community board Food Blogger for Volkswagen.

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

 

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

Serves 2

farfalle pasta 200g / 7 ounces
butter 3 tablespoons
honey 1 1/2-2 teaspoons
large figs, cut into 8 wedges each, 2
mozzarella di bufala, torn into pieces, 125g / 4 1/2 ounces
fresh basil leaves, a small handful
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
flaky sea salt

Cook the farfalle in salted water until al dente.

In the pot used to cook the pasta, heat the butter and honey and whisk until combined. Mix in the farfalle, stir, and divide between 2 plates. Arrange the figs, mozzarella, and basil on top and season with crushed pepper and flaky sea salt to taste.

Enjoy warm or cold.

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

 

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

 

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

 

Farfalle Pasta with Figs, Mozzarella di Bufala and Honey Butter

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

Walking aimlessly through the narrow streets of Malta is one of my favourite activities when we’re on the islands. Give me comfy shoes and a bottle of water and I’m ready to brave the heat. Valletta, with its imposing architecture, will always be my first destination when I need a break of my beach life. I just love strolling along the limestone facades, shining golden in the late afternoon sun. Discovering new vegetable shops, peaking into little baroque chapels, or simply looking at the stunning grand palazzi built in the past centuries is one of the most relaxing things I can think of. To extend my circle of adventures, I take the ferry that connects Valletta and Sliema on one side of the capital or I catch the boat that sails across The Grand Harbour on the other side, towards The Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua.

If I need a complete change of scenery, I go to the sister islands Comino or Gozo, and that’s what we did last weekend. We rented a huge farmhouse, which our family of 20 people filled easily with Mediterranean craziness. The village of Ghasri got to hear lots of laughter, accompanied by a water ballon fight, a luscious BBQ, and a late night pizza picnic at the pool. Our extensive snorkeling trips to the breathtaking Wied ilGħasri, Reqqa Point, and Qbajjar were fabulous. I had never been to Reqqa before, but it’s one of the most spectacular spots I’ve seen so far. The water is very, very deep and the dancing sunbeams that cut through the dark blue look like lightsabers – it’s hypnotic. We finished our trip with a visit to the Cini family at the Xwejni Salt Pans where I always buy enough salt for a year of cooking. Their passion for their craft, their love for the salt from the sea, and their dedication to nature never ceases to amaze me.

Every time I’m in Malta, I bake at least one ricotta pie. This year’s creation turned into a savoury quiche, refined with lots of basil and sweet tomatoes – delicious

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

 

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche 

Makes 1 ( 20cm / 8″) quiche, serves 4.

short crust dough 250g / 9 ounces (you can use 1/3 of the pastry from my fruit tart recipe, but leave out the sugar, click here)

ricotta 400g / 14 ounces
organic eggs 3
butter, melted and cooled, 40g / 2 heaping tablespoons
Parmesan, freshly grated, 60g / 2 ounces
chopped fresh basil leaves, 4 heaping tablespoons, plus a few leaves for the topping
lemon zest 1 heaping teaspoon
fine sea salt 1 teaspoon
ground pepper
cherry tomatoes, cut in half, 6

Prepare the dough, form a thick disc, wrap in cling film, and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F (conventional setting).

Roll out the dough between cling film and line a 20cm / 8″ pie or quiche form with the pastry. Push the pastry into the pie form and prick with a fork. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden. Take the pie form out of the oven and turn the heat down to 190°C / 375°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta, eggs, butter, Parmesan, basil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until well combined. Pour the ricotta on top of the pre-baked pastry, even it out, and arrange the tomatoes on top. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until golden and the ricotta is just firm.

Let the quiche cool for a few minutes, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, and serve warm or cold.

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

 

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

 

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

 

Basil Ricotta and Tomato Quiche

 

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Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini with Feta, Basil, and Pine Nuts

Zucchini stuffed with Feta, Basil, and Pine Nuts

Soon I’ll be eating stuffed vegetables in the kitchens of many Maltese mamas and I know that I’ll never want to eat anything else again once I get into the groove. This dish is a cozy classic in Malta’s Mediterranean cuisine and I love it for its simplicity just as much as for its pure taste of summer. Ripe zucchini, bell pepper, and eggplant turn into juicy shells full of flavour to wrap scrumptious fillings of cheese, meat, seafood, or even more vegetables. Brunġiel mimli (Maltese for stuffed eggplant) is the most popular of them all – and the richest, stuffed with Bolognese – but there are endless possibilities to turn this recipe into a lighter summer treat.

In mid July we’ll be off to spend a few weeks with our family in the South and this will have a huge effect on our daily routine and on our cooking and eating habits. There will be far more fruits and vegetables on the table, they will taste much better than in the North, I will complain less about quality (or not at all), and the results that I stir up in the pots and pans in my Maltese mama’s kitchen will give me deep satisfaction. I love to cook in Jenny’s kitchen (on gas), with the best produce you can possibly ask for, fresh from my favourite farmer.

There’s always a pile of round and long zucchinis in the vegetable drawer, which I either slice up and sauté until al dente or scrape out and stuff – often with ricotta, the island’s most popular dairy product. To get into the mood, I came up with a recipe that uses a fragrant composition of dried-tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, and orange zest stirred into feta – instead of ricotta (I’ll eat so much of it while I’m in Malta that I should take it easy for now). It looked and tasted like a summer holiday and it was so easy to prepare that I’ll make it soon again.

Here’s one of my posts from last year, which always makes me want to go straight back to Malta (just in case you’re not in the mood for summer yet)!

fetastuffedzucchini7

 

Zucchini stuffed with Feta, Basil, and Pine Nuts

Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini with Feta, Basil, and Pine Nuts

Serves 2

sun-dried tomatoes (preserved in salt) 3
pine nuts, toasted until golden, 40g / 1/2 cup
medium zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise, soft pulp scraped out, 2
olive oil
fine sea salt
ground pepper
feta 200g / 7 ounces
fresh basil, chopped, about 15g / a large handful, plus a few leaves for the topping
freshly grated orange zest 1 teaspoon
flaky sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F (conventional setting).

In a small saucepan, bring the sun-dried tomatoes and a little water to the boil and cook for about 3 minutes or until soft. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper and chop finely.

Chop half the pine nuts with a large knife or in a food processor.

Spread the zucchini in a large baking dish (cut side up), brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, mash the feta with a fork and add the chopped pine nuts, basil, dried-tomatoes, orange zest, and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix and mash until well combined and season with pepper to taste. Divide the feta mixture between the zucchini halves, drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts and a little flaky sea salt. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a little water and bake for about 45 minutes or until the zucchini feels soft when you prick it with a metal skewer. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

It makes a great lunch or easy dinner, but you can also serve it at a summer picnic.

Zucchini stuffed with Feta, Basil, and Pine Nuts

 

Zucchini stuffed with Feta, Basil, and Pine Nuts

 

Zucchini stuffed with Feta, Basil, and Pine Nuts

 

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Strawberry, Chickpea, and Raw Asparagus Salad with Basil and Pink Peppercorns

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

Whenever I buy a new appliance for my kitchen, a bigger wardrobe for our bedroom, or a more powerful driller for the tool box, I always ask myself how I managed before the new purchase entered our home. I’m totally fine with having to deal with limited space or less satisfying equipment in the house, but give me the comfort of improvement and I’m hooked for life.

This is exactly how I felt when I got my new fridge last December. It’s only the third fridge I have ever owned and although I can’t really complain about its predecessor – it did a decent job for more than 15 years – it drove me crazy at times. Mainly because the space it offered and the food I tried to put inside it did not match at all. I love fresh food, I buy a lot of fruit and vegetables every week at the farmers’ market, and all kinds of cheese, olives, capers, prosciutto … and wine of course. There are only two people to feed but our food needs space. Thinking back, I don’t know how I managed to store all the greens in my old fridge while I was working on my book a year ago, I have no idea. It worked, but now it’s different, now I actually enjoy my fridge. A few days ago I came into my kitchen with lots of bags and baskets full of rhubarb, berries, asparagus and other spring produce and everything fit. I looked at this silver beauty and couldn’t help but say “I love my fridge!”. When Samsung offered me their Chef Collection for my kitchen, I was over the moon and I still feel the same. When you love food and cooking you truly appreciate having the right equipment.

So when I took a look at all the vibrant colours in my fridge, I came up with a salad that looks and tastes as bright and fresh as this season. I cut raw green asparagus very thinly and mixed it with a handful of arugula and canned chickpeas. A few fresh strawberries on top and a light vinaigrette made with orange juice drizzled all over and it was almost done: Some pink peppercorns added subtle spice and their distinct aroma. It was a very satisfying spring creation.

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Raw Asparagus Salad with Basil and Pink Peppercorns

Serves 2

For the dressing

olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons
white balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon
fine sea salt
ground pepper

For the salad

young green asparagus, trimmed, 4 stalks
arugula leaves, 1 large handful
drained canned chickpeas, 2 handfuls
fresh strawberries, cut into quarters, 6
a few fresh basil leaves
a few pink peppercorns

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, orange juice, and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut off the heads of the asparagus and cut them in half lengthwise. Using a mandoline, a cheese slicer, or a sharp knife, cut the asparagus stalks into long, very thin slices.

In a large bowl, arrange the arugula, asparagus, chickpeas, and strawberries in layers and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns and basil and serve immediately.

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

Strawberry, Chickpea, and Rucola Salad

 

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Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

When I have a bowl of hummus in front of me, I grab the biggest spoon I can find and enjoy this creamy, nutty deliciousness with inexplicable enthusiasm. I don’t know where this fascination comes from, I only discovered this Middle Eastern dip relatively late in my kitchen, but I’m obsessed with it.

Most of the time I’m not even very experimental, I just stick to my basic recipe, but sometimes my mood calls for a little change. I either replace the chickpeas with white beans, stir in some fresh or dried herbs, or I try less pleasant combinations that I never ever want to taste again (like my avocado hummus – disastrous!). There must be something in the tahini – the rich, oily sesame sauce that’s used for hummus – its nutritional value, that my body is almost addicted to. I can eat the thick, pure sauce by the spoon, straight out of the jar. It’s strange.

One of my latest experiments led to a very simple yet absolutely scrumptious result: a generous amount of ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground cumin. The spices enhance the dip’s sweetness and give it a warm and earthy touch. You don’t actually taste them, they merge with the other ingredients and create a new flavour, which makes me want to eat even more of it. To accomplish the sweet side of the hummus, I added sliced boiled potatoes (warm or cold, both work), fresh basil, and a few prawns. It felt like summer on a plate and reminded me of a similar Mediterranean meal we had in Malta last year.

Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

 

Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

Serves 4

For the hummus

drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, 240g / 8 ounces
tahini 150g / 5 ounces
water 120ml / 1/2 cup
freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 tablespoons
garlic, crushed, 1 large clove
ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon
ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon
fine sea salt about 1 teaspoon

olive oil
prawns, the heads cut off, 8-12
boiled potatoes (warm or cold) 8-12
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
fresh basil leaves, a small handful

For the hummus, purée the ingredients in a blender and season with cinnamon, cumin, and salt to taste.

In a large pan, heat a splash of olive oil over high heat and sear the prawns for 1-2 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Arrange the sliced potatoes on 1 large platter or on 4 small plates, drizzle generously with the hummus and additional olive oil, and season to taste with flaky sea salt, crushed pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Place the prawns on top, sprinkle with basil and enjoy immediately.

Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

 

Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

 

Potatoes with Cinnamon Hummus, Basil, and Prawns

 

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Grilled Persimmon, Ham and Cheese Sandwich with Basil

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Cheese sandwiches have long been one of my favourite lunchtime snacks. The most basic version features dark German bread, thin slices of young hard cheese, cucumber, salt, and crushed pepper, you could call it my first sandwich creation, born in my early childhood days. But over the years I got a little more experimental: various fruits sneaked in to add their sweetness to ripe cheese, soft cheese, or blue cheese. Mozzarella di Bufala or ricotta are great to bring in some creaminess, and sometimes, I like to take whatever herb or vegetable my eyes catch in the kitchen and turn it into a runny pesto or smooth dip to dollop lusciously on a crusty bun.

When Leerdammer asked me to create a cheese sandwich for them, I decided to go back to my sandwich roots and think about what a great sandwich should be. I always say that I prefer to focus on a few strong flavours rather than distract my taste buds with too many ingredients. It’s all about the right play of contrast and harmony, in taste and texture. I like Leerdammer for its mild and nutty taste, it’s almost sweet, and it melts fantastically under the broiler. A grilled ham and cheese sandwich felt like the perfect choice but another German sandwich classic came to mind: Toast Hawaii. This child-pleasing creation was a hit in my early sandwich years, pineapple and ham covered in cheese on a slice of toast and grilled. People loved it, including myself. I like pineapple but the market has far more to offer at the moment, so I went for honey-sweet persimmon. The fruit has to be ripe and soft as jelly, in combination with the ham and melted cheese, it almost felt like jam, or a chutney without the sourness. A few basil leaves sprinkled on top give it the spring feeling that I crave so much and make this sandwich feel light and fresh. Follow #wirkäsebroten for more delicious sandwich recipes made with Leerdammer cheese!

You’ve seen many sandwiches on my blog for my Sandwich-Wednesday series, but there has never been a giveaway competition – this is a premiere! Leerdammer gave me five of their cute and robust metal sandwich boxes that are perfect to wrap up your sandwich safely for your next city picnic or lunch break. If you’d like to be the lucky owner of one of them, send me an email (eatinmykitchen@eatinmykitchen.meikepeters.com) or leave a comment at the bottom of this post and share your favourite cheese sandwich combination with me. Tell me about your secret ingredient, it can be a fruit, meat, sauce, anything you like. I’ll get in touch with you as soon as we have 5 winners. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Leerdammer and reminded me of a childhood favourite of mine. Thank you! 

6th April: The competition is now closed. Thank you for all your delicious ideas!

Grilled Persimmon, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

 

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Grilled Persimmon, Ham and Cheese Sandwich with Basil

Makes 2 sandwiches

rustic white buns, cut in half, 2
ham 4 thin slices
large ripe persimmon, peeled and torn into chunks, 1
Leerdammer cheese 4-6 thick slices
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
fresh basil leaves 6

Set the oven to broiler or preheat to the highest temperature.

Divide the ham between the bottoms of the buns. Lay the persimmon on top and cover with the cheese. Grill the sandwich in the oven until the cheese starts melting and sizzling, mind that the cheese doesn’t burn or slip off the fruit. Sprinkle the grilled cheese with crushed pepper and basil, close the bun, and enjoy.

Grilled Persimmon, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

 

Grilled Persimmon, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

 

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