“Toast”: Italian Bar Sandwich

This sandwich is enormously popular in Italian caffès. It is related to the French croque monsieur and to our grilled ham and cheese, only here the ham is imported prosciutto di Parma and the cheese is fontina. If your toaster doesn’t come with the traditional European drop-in cage attachment, or if you don’t have an electric sandwich griddle, you can make this in a sauté pan or on a stovetop griddle. Weight it down with a lid to speed browning.


  • 8 thin slices fontina cheese (4 ounces total)
  • 8 slices white or semolina bread cut about ⅓ inch thick
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto (about 8 ounces total)
  • Butter and olive oil for sautéing (optional)



For each sandwich, place a slice of fontina on 1 slice of bread. Top with 2 slices of prosciutto and then a second slice of fontina. Cover with another slice of bread. Preheat the sandwich grill to 375 degrees, and toast the sandwich until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Or, melt some butter and oil in a sauté pan or on a griddle. Brush the outside of the sandwich on both sides with a mixture of melted butter and olive oil. Place the sandwich in the pan or on the griddle and weight with a lid. Cook, turning once and adding more butter and oil as needed, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cut on the diagonal into 4 triangles.