I grew up eating grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whether open-faced or closed between two pieces of hearty, whole grain bread, there’s nothing like the savory goodness of melted cheese and adding a slice of a ruby red tomato or a schmear of avocado, hummus or pesto, jacks up the flavor profile a big notch. Call it indulgent, decadent or plain old satifsying to the soul, grilled cheese is good food. April is Grilled Cheese Month and my friends from *Cabot Cheese Coop sent me a care package with some of their finest cheese selections.
A memorable grilled cheese sandwich starts with good bread. I made a loaf of Scottish Toasting Oat bread – it’s a yeast bread mix from folks at King Authur Flour. It’s was simple to make: just add warm water and a yeast packet to the flour and oat mixture. Let it proof for a couple of hours and bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes.. And presto – a warm, delcious bread….
I had some basil pesto that I made the other day and thought paired with a vine-ripened tomato, it would be delicious. I pulled out sharp cheddar cheese and grated it to sprinkle over on top. I like to grate the cheese as it’s not as dense in cheese and allows all of the flavors to meld together well.
Now we are ready to melt – just place the other slice of bread on top and place in a skillet that has been drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil (use a paper towel to spread the oil and remove excess).
Sharp Cheddar, Tomato & Basil Pesto Grilled Cheese
Serves 1 (divinely!)
2 slices toasted oat bread (or any bread you enjoy)
1 heaping Tablespoon basil pesto
1/2 vine-ripened tomato, sliced
1/4 cup Cabot “Vermont Sharp” cheddar cheese (to cut calories and fat, use the Cabot’s Sharp Light Cheddar)
Prep you skillet with the oil as mentioned about above. Set aside.
Take one slice of the bread and schmear with pesto, top with tomato slices and grate cheese over it. Place the other slice of bread on top. Place in the oiled skillet over medium heat and cover. Check in 2 minutes, once you see cheese melting, flip to the other side. Heat on this side for another 2 – 3 minutes until bread is golden brown and cheese is oozing out. Remove and plate. Enjoy with sliced apples or grapes.
Nutrition Information: Calories 332, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 34 mg, Sodium 472 mg, Carbohydrates 25 g, Dietary Fiber 5 g, Sugars 5 g, Protein 17 g
* I am a proud supporter and member of the illustrious Cabot Cheese Board, however all opinions (and recipes) are my own.