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  • Writer's pictureLo-go-cook

The Italian

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

A Mediterranean take on grilled cheese.

The Italian (makes 2)


For the roasted peppers:

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Grilled Cheese:

2 focaccia rolls

1/2 lb Sopressata, thinly sliced

1/2 lb fresh mozzarella

1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons butter (plus more if needed)

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

  1. Preheat a gas grill or turn on the flame on a gas stove top. Place 1 red, 1 orange and 1 green bell pepper directly onto the grill or stovetop flame. Char on all sides. Place charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Remove plastic and let peppers cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, peel charred skin off peppers and remove seeds and membrane. Pull apart 1/2" strips of peppers and place in a clean bowl. Add sliced garlic, salt and olive oil and toss to coat.

  2. Next, crisp up 20 thin slices of hot sopressata in a dry frying pan in 2 batches. While the sopressata heats up, cut focaccia bread into sandwich slices. Once the sopressata is crisp, remove it from pan and reserve. Add 2 teaspoons of butter to the grease in the pan and fry cut sides of the focaccia bread (being sure to put a weight over the slices such as a heavy pan or tea kettle to toast the entire surface). Do the same with second focaccia roll, adding more butter to the pan if necessary.

  3. Preheat broiler to low, being sure the top rack is 5" from the heat source. Slice pitted kalamata olives and colorful heirloom cherry tomatoes in half. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of parmesan onto each slice of focaccia bread. Place olive and tomato slices on top of two of the grated cheese halves. Cut 1/4" slices of fresh mozzarella and place over all slices of bread. Next put cheese-topped focaccia slices in an oven safe dish or a foil-lined cookie sheet and heat under the broiler until cheese is melted and gooey. Carefully remove them from the oven and top half the bread with the crisped sopressatta and roasted peppers. Top with the other half of bread, slice, and enjoy.

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