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Mediterranean Melt


When using focaccia to make this rustic grilled-cheese sandwich, try grilling the entire sandwich in a hot skillet over medium-high heat until both sides are golden brown.

  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2001


  • 3 lemons
  • 8 baby artichokes
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 4 rustic-style rolls, or Focaccia, cut in quarters
  • 1/2 pound Taleggio or fontina cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick


  1. Slice 2 lemons in half, and squeeze juice into a bowl of cold water. Add lemon halves to bowl.

  2. Trim tips and outer leaves from artichokes; slice thinly, lengthwise; submerge in the lemon water. Combine olives with 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl, and set aside.

  3. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat; add garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pat artichokes dry; add to skillet. Saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Squeeze juice of remaining lemon over artichokes; season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and add 1/2 cup chopped parsley; toss. Transfer to a small bowl; cover with foil.

  4. Return skillet to heat; add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Arrange tomatoes in skillet. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parsley. Cook until golden around edges, about 5 minutes. Turn over, and saute 1 to 2 minutes more.

  5. Slice rolls or focaccia open; scoop out bottom, creating a cavity for the filling; spread with olive mixture. Mound the artichoke mixture over olives. Arrange tomatoes over the artichokes. Arrange cheese over tomatoes. Place sandwich halves and the tops, crumb side up, on baking sheet; broil until cheese melts and bread is golden, about 2 minutes. Close sandwiches. Serve.

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