When I envision a traditional grilled cheese sandwich, I think buttered slices of thick bread, a frying pan, lots of yellow/orange colored cheeses and tomato soup on the side. With summer Chicago days at 86 F in the shade, I can sub in baguette slices for regular bread, a grill for the frying pan, fresh mozzarella and feta for the yellow & orange cheese and fresh tomato bruschetta for the tomato soup. I even add in a little sautéed spinach, pesto and chopped olives for more texture and flavor.
The result? A grilled cheese perfect for a hot Saturday afternoon, served with fresh fruit!
If you don’t like one or all of the ingredients, feel free to omit them. This is a loose recipe meant for experimenting.
Summer Grilled Cheese with Mozzarella, Feta, Pesto & Bruschetta
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 baguette , cut into 2 pieces, with each piece ‘halved’
2-3 oz feta cheese, cut into 1/2″ pieces
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2″ pieces
Drizzle cut side of each baguette slice with olive oil. Place, cut-side down, on a grill over low-medium heat for 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip baguette slices so that the cut side is facing up. Sprinkle cheese on bottoms of baguettes. Spread pesto on the top sides. Grill 2 minutes longer. Remove from grill, top with optional bruschetta, spinach and olives. Press the two slices together and enjoy!
Makes 2 sandwiches.
Heat 1 T. olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add 2 cloves garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Saute 60 seconds. Add 6 oz spinach & 2 T+ water. Stir until spinach reduces and is soft, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in a little lemon juice at the end for flavor. Season with sea salt & pepper.