When I shared a photo of a grilled cheese sandwich as the centerpiece of a lunch collage in this post on how to eat more veggies, I felt like I was teasing you. So I'm sharing a bit more about my favorite grilled cheese sandwich to inspire you, and hopefully make you hungry. I know I'm getting peckish.
Long on photos, short on words because honestly, this is just a simple grilled cheese sandwich.
Or is it?
If you're ever in the Cincinnati area and hungry, I recommend paying a visit to a Tom+Chee restaurant. They've got amazing grilled cheese sandwiches and delicious tomato soup. My friend Holly told me about it, and whenever we can we swing by for a meal. My favorite sandwich is the Hippy Chee. It's got hummus, cucumber, tomato, and lettuce with your basic grilled cheese. Tom+Chee manages to keep the bread toasty and warm, the cheese melty and hot, and the veggies cold and crisp. It's addictive. I'm still figuring out their technique--it involves a long spatula to fry both slices at the same time before lifting them off the heat, adding cold veggies, and mashing together--and I've found a way to incorporate my farm share veggies which delights me with the results. Try it yourself!
You need a good bread. I like a wide pan bread by my local grocery store, but the farmhouse loaf from Pepperidge farm works well too. Top the bread with a thick layer of hummus.
You need good cheese--extra sharp cheddar for our family.
You need other veggies: shredded carrots, shredded radishes, and, if you have them, pickled turnips.
You may not have the pickled turnips--I got the idea to throw a scrubbed, sliced raw turnip into a jar of (leftover) pickled beet pickling liquid because I love Lebanese food, and the pink sticks alongside my Chicken Shawarma are pickled turnips. Not sure how really to make them, but using up all the pickled beets, tossing a turnip into the jar and putting it back in the fridge for another week or two works for me. These keep for months in the fridge!
You need a bit of lettuce. I've got a great CSA farm share that provides me with a tasty salad mix much of the growing season, and I cannot wait until the farm share resumes *next* month! Woot!
And you need a fat to coat the bread. I use Smart Balance Organic Buttery Spread. It's vegan, not that it is important for my household, but with the right bread and cheese, this would also be a vegan meal.
Preheat a small skillet over medium heat while you spread the hummus over the bread. Add the cheese, the shredded vegetables (about 1/4 cup each) and layer of pickled turnips. Top with the other slice of bread. Spread the fat of your choice on the top of the sandwich, and put it fat side down into the hot skillet. Spread the new top of the sandwich with fat. Flip it over when it's nicely brown and cook until the bottom slice is browned. Remove to a plate and, unless you know Tom+Chee's magic trick of the open faced grill and long spatula, quickly lift the bread lid with one hand while shoving lettuce onto the sandwich with the other hand. Enjoy!
What's your favorite grilled cheese sandwich? Here are some other yummy-looking ones: a Spiced-Up Grilled Cheese from from Gourmet Veggie Mama, a Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese from $5 Dinners, and a fun Grilled Cheese Pull-Apart snack from Putney Farm.
This post is linked up with What's Cookin' Wednesday at Buns In My Oven, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks, Taste and Tell Thursdays, Strange but Good at Sprint2TheTable, the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You, and the Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick, and Food on Fridays.