Now this looks good – but imagine how good it is when drizzled with olive oil and baked for 20 minutes until the cheese melts and the bread goes crispy…
This melted cheese hedgehog is brilliant to have out if you’ve got people over for a couple of drinks at the weekend but don’t want to put on a proper meal; fantastic for a picnic (wrap it in foil to bake it, then when still hot wrap it in greaseproof paper then several layers of newspaper. I did this and 4 hours later it was still just warm and melted, and absolutely delicious on a sunny river bank with some white wine.
1 sourdough loaf
2 balls of mozzarella, sliced
5 large tomatoes, sliced
160g parma ham, torn
20-30 basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt and black pepper
It couldn’t be simpler to make:
- Slice the bread into a hedgehog shape (see above), about halfway down the bread so that it doesn’t fall apart.
- First, cut the garlic cloves into tiny slivers and stuff them around the bread, rubbing the bread with the garlic cloves first if you like for extra flavour.
- Then stuff with the mozzarella slices, tomato, basil and parma ham torn into smaller pieces, along both the horizontal and vertical slices. Stuff loads in – you will never feel that you’ve got too much melted cheese, are you?
- Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper along the stuffed cuts.
- Wrap it in foil, and when you’re ready, bake in the oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes.
For evidence that it went down well:
Guess whose party it was…