We have been on a serious date night rampage the last few months. All of our friends with kids told us to go on as many dates as we can and to enjoy as many warm meals together as possible before the baby arrives. We have really taken this to heart …. I think we have seen more movies in the last few weeks, than we have in the last 2 years! I have had a chance to try every restaurant in Santa Cruz on my bucket list, which pretty much includes all the ones that take a farm-to-table approach (post on these places coming soon!). Plus, dining out has been a very nice break after spending all my free time testing recipes, it is pretty awesome to not cook and clean!
Last Sunday, we sat in the garden of Main Street Garden Cafe and had some of the most amazing entrees we have ever had out. I wish I could go apprentice with their chef, so I can learn how to so perfectly roast a chicken. Maybe if I could make chicken taste like that, I would eat it more! This recipe was inspired by an appetizer we had there.
Saltimbocca is a dish that is classically made with veal, prosciutto and sage. As much as I love my protein, I don’t think I could bring myself to eat a baby cow, even a free-range one. The veal in this recipe is substituted by summer squash & it is so tasty!!! This recipe does call for dairy, but you can make it without the cheese.
Fresh Sage leaves
Prosciutto or pancetta
Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
Fontina cheese (if you don’t include any dairy in your diet, you can make it without this, but it really helps the little sammys stick together)
pepper to taste
Make sure to get squash that is wide enough to use as a sandwich. I used these round ones we got in our CSA box this past week.
Slice squash about 1/4 inch thick.Place a thinly sliced piece of prosciutto or pancetta on each squash.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a saute pan, place squash and prosciutto in the pan, sprinkle with pepper (it won’t need salt, as the pancetta or prosciutto tend to be plenty salty), place some sage leaves around it and cook until prosciutto is browned and a little crispy. Then flip and cook the other side of the squash. It takes about 1-2 minutes per a side.
Remove from pan and assemble your little sandwiches. Place fontina cheese on top of prosciutto, then add cooked sage, and sun-dried tomatoes. Top with another piece of squash with proscioutto. So there is actually 2 pieces of prosciutto in the sammy.
Preheat oven to 350 (I used the toaster oven, so I hope it is the same for a large oven). Place sammys on a cookie sheet. I used foil (but this isn’t necessary). Place left over sage from the saute pan around the sammys. Crispy sage is seriously delicious! Cook until cheese is melted and the sage is lightly crispy. About 5 minutes.