CREATE THE ULTIMATE GRILLED CHEESE
Sharing a fun twist on the classic grilled cheese and it is so GOOD. So how does one create the ultimate grilled cheese? Let's face it all grilled cheese is amazing. When you're working with just a few ingredients, you have to make sure everything will come together and sing. I realize not everyone bakes homemade sourdough, but do yourself a favor and use a nice loaf of artisan bread with a good crust and chew. Make sure you slice it thick enough. We're not making dainty tea sandwiches here. Next, mix up some softened butter with your favorite mayo. Yes, mayonnaise and butter will give you that unbeatable, crunchy, and golden crust.
Spring is in full swing, so I wanted to take advantage of the fresh produce and add in some vibrant greens. Sweet basil and earthy kale come together in a delicious pesto that can stand up to the sharp, robust cheddar and bring out it's full bodied flavor. I love that contrast of color and texture and we can all use more greens in our life.
And finally the star of the show, the CHEESE. And not just any cheddar cheese, we're talking about naturally aged, naturally gluten and lactose free Cabot Creamery Cheese. I went with the Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese is so rich and packs a nice bite. It's important that the food I feed my family not only tastes fantastic, but comes from a company that gives back. Cabot Creamery is a co-operative owned by farm families in New York and New England. That means 100% of the profits go back to the farmers. This is something I can get behind. My family and I take cheese very seriously, so much so that we named our cat Cheddar. (true story)
When it's called the ultimate, go with the best ingredients you can find
sourdough bread (homemade if you got it)
award winning cheese
homemade kale pesto
Now you have all your ingredients together. If you want to get fancy you can say your miss en place. You're just 10 minutes away from enjoying my favorite sandwich and I have a feeling you will feel the same. Grab a knife and coat one side of 4 pieces of bread with the mayo/butter. Throw 2 pieces into your cast iron or heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Spoon some pesto evenly over the bread and slice or grate some of that extra sharp over the pesto. Add the top piece of bread with the mayo/butter side up. Don't be impatient and crank the heat up, keep it at a steady medium heat to ensure even color on your crust and a nice oozy melt on the cheese. After 4-5 minutes, carefully flip each sandwich over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Slide those bad boys to a cutting board and think long and hard about how you want to proceed. Do you cut the sandwich down the middle or on a diagonal? I go straight down the middle and pull it apart slowly. This is how you create the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy this sandwich, my friends. You will absolutely love it.
She's ready for her glamour shot!
THE ULTIMATE GRILLED CHEESE
8 slices sourdough bread
8 oz. block Cabot Vermont extra sharp Cheddar, grated or sliced
2 tablespoon softened butter
2 tablespoons mayo
1 cup baby kale leaves
1 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup pistachios
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and black pepper to taste
Place the kale, basil, garlic, pistachios, olive oil and lemon juice in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth then add salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, mix together the butter and mayo until well combined and coat one side of each piece of the sourdough bread.
Working in batches of 2 sandwiches at a time, place two pieces of bread mayo butter side down in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan. Spread 2 spoonfuls of pesto on each slice followed by a good handful of cheese. Spread the cheese in an even layer. Add the top piece of bread with the mayo butter facing up.
Cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Transfer to a cutting board and slice each sandwich in half. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.
For the printable copy, click here.