Pressed Pear, Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

The presents are all unwrapped, the parties are winding down, and the Southern husband and I are, well, tired.  Good tired.  But tired.  We’ve just been through a delicious whirlwind of birthday and anniversary and Christmas lunches and brunches and dinners, and while we aren’t complaining, we are ready for some quieter food.  Like a sandwich.  Like a ham sandwich.  Like a ham sandwich that is grilled with a little bit of swiss cheese and pear slices and lettuce.  Because while we do want to rev things down a little, we still want our sandwiches to be festive…and this is a festive sandwich!

I should back up for a sec and say that the Southern husband is one of those organized types that shops for the holidays throughout the year.  He hears me wish out loud for something, or he sees something that I might like, and he actually goes out and buys it, even if it isn’t holiday-shopping season.  Then he squirrels it away, and in November and December when the rest of us are driving in circles looking for parking spots at the mall, he’s, well, not.

Vaguely annoying as this may be, it does have a fabulous side benefit that pops up throughout the year, because every once in a while I will complain one more time that I really wish I had whatever it is that I wish I had, and he can’t hold it in any longer…he disappears and comes back with whatever it is, taken prematurely out of his holiday stash.  Which is how I ended up with a fabulous electric griddle back in September.  I was grousing about how hard it was to flip pancakes in a skillet, when voila!  Instant electric griddle gratification.  Some girls yearn for jewelry, but he knows that the fastest way to my heart is through small kitchen appliances.  Hug and kiss, honey!

So my Christmas actually started back in the early fall with my new griddle, and it only seems fair to close it out with a scrumptious sandwich made on that same griddle (and it can absolutely also be made in a skillet).  Layer thin sliced ham, sliced swiss cheese, thin slices of ripe pear and some lettuce on country bread with a little mustard and pepper.  Brush the outsides of the bread with olive oil, place it lovingly on your griddle/skillet, and and weight it down with something heavy (a smaller skillet, a big can of tomatoes, a brick wrapped in foil…you get the idea).  Flip it over when the first side is golden, then cook it until the other side is golden and the cheese is melty.

Then cut it in half and share it with someone you love.  Maybe someone who made your holidays merry and bright…all year long.


Pressed Pear, Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Serves: 2 sandwiches
  • 4 slices hearty bread
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced ham
  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce, folded to the size of the bread
  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • Fresh ground pepper
  1. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  2. Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Spread the other side of each slice with mustard.
  3. Layer cheese, ham, lettuce and pear together on each sandwich. Grind some pepper on the sandwich and top with the other slice of bread.
  4. Place on skillet or griddle and weight down with something heavy (small skillet or a large can of tomatoes work well). Cook until golden brown. Flip and cook until second side is golden and cheese is melting.
  5. Slice in half if you like and serve at once.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food


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  1. Steve says

    Would never have thought of putting pear and lettuce in a toasted sanger!! I am more likely to use tomato and asparagus.


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