“Turn a grilled cheese sandwich into a gourmet delight with this Italian combination of flavors,” writes Nancy Mair, author of “The Intimate Vegetarian.” “You can also vary the sandwich in a number of ways: Leave out the onion or tomato, spread pesto on the bread instead of basil, or use fresh mozzarella and marinated sun-dried tomatoes.”
4 slices sourdough, French or whole-wheat bread
About 3 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar, sliced
2 to 4 thin slices red or yellow onion
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
5 large basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces or generous pinch dried basil, crumbled
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons butter
Place cheese on one slice of bread, covering the bread to the edges. Top with onion and tomato. Add basil and finish off with garlic. Spread the second slice of bread with butter and place it buttered side up on top of sandwich.
Preheat grill to 340 degrees or heat a frying pan on medium heat. Place sandwich buttered side down onto the hot surface. Cover sandwich or pan with a lid to speed the melting of the cheese. Check bottom of bread after a few minutes to measure how quickly it’s browning, and cook until it becomes a rich golden brown. Butter the top side of upper piece of bread, then flip sandwich over. Cook on second side, uncovered, until nicely toasted. Cut in half and serve piping hot.
Notes to the cook:
- Grilled sandwiches are buttered on the outer sides of the bread rather than the inner sides, so you don’t need to butter the pan – the sandwich does it for you.
- The amount of cheese will vary according to the size of the bread slices.
Makes 2 sandwiches.
From “The Intimate Vegetarian” by Nancy Mair
This article is part of the series: World Vegetarian Day Brings Some Meat-free Surprises