Friday, March 12, 2010

Gourmet grilled cheese

Here's another quick recipe for a great lunch or a low-key evening dinner when everyone is running around crazy with a million things to do. If Camembert is a bit too much for you, try out some Brie. And by all means, if you are set on cheddar, then use that. Just make certain any cheese you use is ripe; in the case of Camembert and Brie, you don't want it hard, you want it soft and a bit runny.

I recommend serving the sandwiches with a mixed lettuce salad, tossed in a light vinaigrette.  The cheese makes these sandwiches quite heavy in the stomach. You'll need something light and fresh to even it out.  If everyone's really hungry, cream of tomato soup is what Mom always made us with the traditional cheddar cheese version of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Get someone to help you assemble all of the sandwiches and then one after the other grill them in a pan. Put them under a broiler so that they are all warm at the same time and the cheese can finish melting. I'll admit these are even good cold the next morning when heading out the door to work.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches loosely adapted from Saving Dinner: Winter Vegetarian E-Book
Notes: If not using sliced bread, slice your whole grain loaf as thin as you can.  In the pan, the cheese won't melt all the way because there is so much loaded up on there. That's what's the broiler for at the end.  If you have it, ghee or clarified butter, will give you really top results.  Ghee has a higher smoke point than normal butter and will give you more even browning. Butter or any other healthy oil will substitute just fine. If you've got an indoor grill or sandwich maker, this recipe would be a prime candidate to try it out.
Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 10 min per sandwich
Servings: 5-6 sandwiches

1-2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
Sundried tomatoes, in oil (reserve 2 teaspoons of oil)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
5-6 walnuts, shelled
10-12 slices of whole grain bread, thinly sliced
1/2 a round of ripe Camembert
1 jar roasted red peppers
2-3 tablespoons chopped chives
Enough hard cheese to make 5-6 sandwiches, my suggestions Gruyère or Vorarlberg (Austria) Bergkaese (mountain cheese).

Preheat the broiler in your oven.

In a mortar and pestle or food processor, mash the garlic, sundried tomato oil, walnuts, mustard, salt and pepper into a paste. Adjust seasoning as desired. Take one slice of bread and spread a bunch of Camembert on it. Load it up with a layer of roasted peppers. Add some chives. Top with the hard cheese. Top with one or two sundried tomatoes. Spread a bit of the garlic and walnut mustard on a second slice of bread. Top the sandwich with the second bread.

On high heat, melt ghee or butter in a pan. Carefully grill each side of the sandwich until brown, flipping one time. Place all of the sandwiches on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and broil until all of the cheese is melted.
© 2010 Nicole


  1. Let's try this again. I'm playing with Quinoa and have tried a few things that are edible but nothing that has "Wowed" me yet. So far my favorite has been substituting the quinoa for rice in a fried rice recipe.

  2. Hi, have you checked out She's got lots of whole grain recipes there. I've put in the link for her quinoa recipes, but if you put in quinoa in the search field (upper right-hand corner) you'll get a whole bunch more. Please let me know if anything turns out great!

  3. This looks like heaven to me. I love grilled cheese!

  4. @ Crepes I agree, grilled cheese is great!

  5. I just prepare this sandwich and was delicious...;)

    Thank you very much for the recipe!

    Greetings from Spain,

  6. @Sonia - I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know!

  7. Yum! Have you submitted this to the Grilled Cheese Academy yet?

  8. @Amanda - Thanks for the tip! I've been looking at the website, there are some delish sandwiches there!



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