Monday, 17 March 2014

Superfood Grilled Cheese {Week 4 of the Grilled Cheese Transformation}

We all know kale is a superfood- able to kill off cancer cells and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Well, it better be super because I have been drinking sludgy, brown, gritty and sometimes chewy smoothies for breakfast for two weeks now and if kale isn't going to make me live forever then I'm going to be mighty pissed off.

While I'm on the subject of superfoods, don't you think it is strange how every list of "The foods you absolutely must eat" has different foods listed on it. Hmmmm.

Ok, we all know 'superfood' is just one of those phrases that everyone is going to look back on, roll their guys and talk about the teenies (like the eighties and the nineties) but at the end of the day 'superfoods' are so named because they have a higher than usual concentration of nutrients. And nutrients are good. So who wants sludge for breakfast?

I am not a fan of kale. I know it is nutrient-dense but it is tough, rubbery and bitter and makes my smoothies grey. I have tried massaging it (this website even has a video), because it's hard work being a superfood and maybe the kale is just a bit stressed. But I lack patience, after 30 seconds it still tastes like kale.

Then I saw #29 grilled cheese with mozzarella, kale and prosciutto from 31 grilled cheeses that are better than a boyfriend and I decided to give the little fella another chance. The recipe comes from
Last Call for Corn, a lovely blog with a focus on shopping locally and eating seasonally (although she doesn't seem to be updating anymore which is a bit sad).

The beauty of this sandwich is that the bad cancels out the good. Superfood kale knocks the delicious salty fattiness out of the prosciutto and grain and seed sourdough smothers the mozzarella (WWF style). Plus, cheese has calcium and minerals so it might even qualify as a superfood on the next list, or in the 2020s we might discover it is the cure for global warming- who knows.....

You will need:
Kale- I used tuscan kale
Chilli flakes
Bread of your choice- I used a delicious grain and seed sourdough from my local bakery
Prosciutto (allow about 2 thin slices per sandwich unless you have access to the jumbo prosciutto I bought- then you will need less
Chilli flakes
Mozzarella- thinly sliced

I followed Vanille Verte's advice and massaged my kale.

I do have to admit it looks much more relaxed (but it still tastes like kale)
You might think it was silly to massage before I cooked it but I have learned from experience that kale has amazing ability to stay tough and bouncy no matter what you do and I wasn't going to let it ruin my sandwich.

To ensure ultimate palatability I cooked it with a little butter and some chilli flakes

I gave my prosciutto a couple of minutes under the griller because all prosciutto is good.....

But crispy prosciutto is better.

Lovely layers

Have I mentioned how good a pan-fried sandwich is?
Yeah, OK, maybe a coupla times already :)
Salty and cheesy and the kale added some freshness (hooray for kale!! Finally). This was a super-delicious superfood sandwich.
Grilled cheese rating 4.5/5

Tuscan kale, Italian prosciutto, mozzarella and sourdough from my local baker who happens to be Italian- had to be matched with an Italian wine.

Except that I am trying to showcase some Australian wines, so I compromised by serving with an Italian grape variety. Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza wine. Its high acidity, medium tannin and fruity/herbal characters create magic with cheesy tomatoey goodness. I essentially have a pizza here without the tomato so I went with a bottle of the 2012 Condie 'Giaracca' Sangiovese.

The name sangiovese is derived from the Latin and means blood of Jove. This lovely example from Heathcote is deep ruby in colour with aromas of dark cherry, vanilla and maybe a tiny hint of eucalypt- it kept evolving in the glass until I was sure I could smell blackforest cake. On the palate it is has rich, mouth-filling sour cherry and redcurrant with moderate acidity and tannin. Very slurpable but with enough complexity to keep the wine-geeks happy too.

Incidentally if you aren't a red wine drinker and would like to be, sangiovese is a good grape to start with. The approachable tannin and rich fruit makes it a hard wine not to love.

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