Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mozzarella and Pesto Grilled Cheese

The problem, for me, with grilled cheese is that it’s boring. Oh—that might not be fair to the grilled cheese—it might just be my own personal bias, but it’s true. When Adam and I first moved to Maryland, most of our money was spent trying to compensate for the drastic difference in living expenses between Pennsylvania and the DC area. We cut costs where we could, and the grocery list was one of the first to suffer. We targeted which meals we could have on the cheap, and grilled cheese was one of them. Along with spaghetti and hot dogs, we had grilled cheese every week. Plain. On white bread. And thus the boredom.

But it’s really not right to write off grilled cheese entirely. I mean, first of all, bread and cheese is a classic combination, and I really do love it. Plus, there are so many different ways to make grilled cheese that you can practically have a different cheese-and-bread experience every single time. Recently I’ve tried it on garlic toast, which was good, and on Dijon-coated bread with bacon, which was very good. Last night I made it Tyler-style with mozzarella cheese, pesto, and tomato.

This was the first time I made my own pesto. You know, I didn’t used to think I liked pesto very much. It was okay, but nothing to get excited about. Now I realize that I just never had good pesto. Tyler’s recipe is basic but delicious. It’s so fresh and flavorful, and I used two huge garlic cloves, which gave it a nice bit of heat.

You really don’t need a recipe for this, but it’s here if you want it. Just grab yourself some pesto or make your own, slather it on some bread (Tyler used sourdough), top with mozzarella and Roma tomatoes, and grill to perfection. I served mine with chicken noodle soup and it made a lovely rainy day meal. Plus, this sandwich really does take grilled cheese to a new level. I couldn’t exactly place my finger on it, but the taste really reminded me of another familiar dish. I think it’s vegetable pizza—mozzarella, herbs, garlic, tomatoes—those are the flavors of vegetable pizza, no? Whatever it is, it’s fantastic.

11 comments:

A. Grace said...

goodness gracious. i never knew grilled cheese could look so magnificent.

is it time for lunch yet?

Kevin said...

This sandwich sounds great! Just look at the melted mozzarella. Fresh home made pesto is really good and putting it in a sandwich with mozzarella and tomatoes is a really good idea. What a classic combo: basil, tomato and mozzarella.

Kristina said...

i LOVE pesto. I just bought a roasted red pepper pesto that makes fantastic sandwiches. Especially with fresh mozzarella. Yum!

Vicarious Foodie said...

Kristina: Thanks for the great suggestion! I've never had roasted red pepper pesto, but it definitely sounds like something I would like. I'll keep an eye open for it....

Patsyk said...

Oh, that looks so good! I love pesto and what a fantastic way to improve on a classic! It's like grilled cheese all-grown up. My kids would hate it, but sometimes you have to make something for the grown-ups, too.

Kate said...

I tried that recipe for grilled cheese this past weekend. AMAZING! It was like Margherita pizza in a sandwich.

Vicarious Foodie said...

Kate: I'm so glad you tried it and liked it! I thought it was pretty great, too. ;)

Psychgrad said...

Looks great! I make grilled cheese pretty regularly. This looks like a great twist.

Brilynn said...

I'm so craving a grilled cheese sandwich now, and the pesto would make it so much better!

Lalaine said...

Yesterday was my first time trying a grilled cheese sandwich with sliced tomatoes (made with swiss cheese and sliced ciabatta bread)) and was it good or what! Lo and behold, mozzarella and pesto! I am making this for dinner tonight and some mighty tomato soup! Thanks for a terrific easy meal idea.

Krysta said...

i could eat my wieght in those sandwiches. good lord.