Makes 2 sandwiches
This over-the-top grilled cheese sandwich perfectly walks the line between sweet and savory thanks to caramelly smashed dates, salty prosciutto and cheese, and a touch of herbaceous rosemary. Use your softest dates here (it’s an especially good use for our imperfect but delicious “Grinders”) – they should be easy to mash into a rough paste without too much effort.
5 large Rancho Meladuco Date Farm Medjool dates, pitted
Four ½-inch thick slices country-style bread
8 ounces white cheddar, shredded
4 slices prosciutto
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed
2 sprigs rosemary
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Using a mortar and pestle or in a medium bowl and using a fork, mash the pitted dates into a rough paste.
Arrange the bread on a work surface. Dollop the date paste onto each slice of bread and then gently use the back of your spoon to spread it into an even layer. Arrange half of the shredded cheese on two slices of bread. Top each with two slices of prosciutto. Arrange the remaining cheese on top of the prosciutto and close the sandwiches.
In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the rosemary sprigs. Cook the sandwiches, flipping once and adding more butter as needed, until the cheese is melted and the bread is deeply golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. As the pan gets hotter, reduce the heat to moderately-low to avoid burning. Transfer the sandwiches and rosemary sprigs to a work surface. Cut the sandwiches in half and transfer to two plates. Sprinkle the frizzled rosemary leaves and flaky sea salt over the top and eat right away.
Recipe and photos by Julia Heffelfinger