Not your ordinary sandwich!
I do love some ordinary sandwiches like bologna sandwiches on white bread with mustard or sometimes mayonnaise with a handful of potato chips on top and then they get mashed together until the salty chips totally cover the bologna surface. I love braunschweiger sandwiches with mustard on white bread and I know those aren’t good for me.
Other than burgers, occasionally, I never really threw sandwiches on the table for my kids. Or, for dinner anyway. They definitely had their share of pbj, grilled cheese and egg sandwiches for lunch.
Sometimes you just want something quick, like a sandwich, to fill you up so you can get going with whatever project you were working on. I’m sure everyone has had their share of sandwiches on bread (white, wheat, nut berry etc.) or pita sandwiches or wrapped sandwiches in tortillas. When in dieting mode, I have even wrapped my filling up in lettuce leaves. So, who would have ever thought there could have been another way to prepare a sandwich.
Then, someone came along and invented the panini machine which can take a plain ordinary sandwich to a whole new level. The first sandwich toaster was patented in 1925. And look what it evolved in to. I think this Asparagus Ham and Cheese Melt could be done under broiler or just toasted in a pan BUT, as a panini it is fantastic. The crispness you get from using a panini grill is so much different than just toasting your bread.
I have used the panini grill just to grill bread for bruschetta or have grilled chicken and other things like a Nutrella sandwich — yum. Peanut butter and jelly is wonderful made in a panini and just an ordinary combination of tomato, mozarella cheese and basil becomes a quick little appetizer when made in the panini and cut into small squares.
Blanch the asparagus for a few minutes before putting on the sandwich. The recipe did not call for sliced tomatoes but it was a good addition.
Asparagus, Ham and Cheese Melt
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 lb. thin asparagus
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices Italian bread
2 tsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 lb. sliced cooked ham
handful of spinach leaves
Preheat panini grill or broiler.
In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan and mayonnaise. Trim asparagus to fit bread and arrange asparagus in a skillet just large enough to hold it in one layer. Add 1/2″ salted cold water and cook asparagus, covered over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until just tender. In a colander drain asparagus.
Arrange 2 slices bread on a baking sheet and butter top of each slice. Broil bread about 6 inches from heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn bread over and arrange ham on each slice, folding or trimming to fit if necessary. Arrange asparagus on ham, top with tomato slice(s) and spread with parmesan mixture. Top with the remaining bread slices and butter top of bread. Broil sandwiches about 3 inches from heat until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
*Note:– What I would do different. I would not mix the mayonnaise and the cheese together. It was hard to spread. Also, I would probably either grate the cheese finer, spread the mayo on the bread, sprinkle with the cheese and then put together.