This ham and cheese toastie has an extra dimension of flavour, which comes from sun-dried tomato pesto and dark seeded bread. Give it a try, you will be hooked!
It’s difficult to think of a sandwich more popular then a grilled cheese sandwich or a cheese toastie, as it is lovingly called in the UK. Perfectly toasted buttery bread and gooey cheese is a combination, that is hard to beat!
However, I am attempting to take it up a notch by slathering my bread slices with sun-dried tomato pesto for an extra infusion of flavour. I am also adding a slice of good quality ham to create a more substantial and filling sandwich.
Recipe Tips and Notes
Although making a cheese toastie hardly requires a recipe, there are few tips I’d like to share to set you up for success. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that making even simple things for the first time calls for little guidance.
First of all, why add pesto? The short answer is because it’s delicious! Pesto is such an amazing condiment, which shouldn’t be reserved for pasta alone. It perks up so many dishes. The mix of herbs, garlic, Parmesan cheese and fragrant olive oil is a killer combination.
Apart from the traditional basil pesto, there are so many more flavours available nowadays. One of my favourites is sun-dried tomato pesto. This quick ravioli sauce, which uses it, has been in my top 5 recipes for years. It’s not just me, you, my friends, are loving it too!
The sandwich I am sharing today features the sun-dried tomato pesto. But I recommend trying a few and see what you like best.
How to Make Ham and Cheese Toastie
The signs of a great toastie are golden crispy bread and a perfectly melted cheese. It doesn’t seem too difficult to achieve but there are a few thing you should know.
- Choose thickly sliced bread. It will hold up better in a sandwich maker or a panini press if you are using them. If you are using a frying pan like I did, thick bread slices will provide a better balance for the rich melted cheese inside.
- Choose bread with more texture. Seeds or grains other than white wheat will add extra flavour and dimension. Sourdough bread makes the best toasties! I also am impartial to rye bread for my sandwiches.
- Cheese is equally as important as bread. Pick your favourite but don’t forget to select the cheese that melts well. I often opt for a mix of two types of cheeses. One for the flavour and another one for the melting qualities. Here I mixed mild cheddar and mozzarella.
- Use butter or olive oil to achieve that golden crust. If you avoid dairy, olive oil is your next best pick. However, if you can’t give up butter, try using clarified butter on your sandwich. Same taste, no dairy!
- Finally, the more cheese you add, the slower it will melt. Don’t turn your heat up too high or you are risking burning your bread while waiting for the cheese to melt. Another trick I use is covering the pan with a lid to create more heat, which will encourage the cheese to melt quicker!
Here you go! Now all is left is to choose your ingredient and create a ham and cheese toastie, that is perfect for you!
More Sandwich Recipes to Try:
Ham and Cheese Toastie
- 2 slices bread thickly sliced
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto or any other pesto
- 2 slices mild cheddar
- 1 slice good quality ham thickly slices or a couple of thinly sliced ones
- 30g/1/4 cup grated mozzarella
- 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
- Spread 1 tbsp of sun-dried tomato pesto on each slice of bread and top each of them with a slice of cheddar cheese. Then place a slice of ham on of them and grated mozzarella on another.
- Carefully combine the slices of bread to form a sandwich without spilling the grated mozzarella and toast on a preheated frying pan in 1 tbsp of melted butter. Start on low heat to allow time for the cheese to fully melt. Once you flip the sandwich over, you can briefly cover the pan with a lid to create more heat inside, which will speed up the cheese melting process.