I don’t actually like grilled cheese sandwiches very much. It brings to mind school cafeterias with plastic trays, canned tomato soup, and bitchy girls that won’t let you sit with them. Fuck those bitches. I’ll sit where I want.
It didn’t occur to me that the grilled cheese could be improved upon (I thought it was a lost cause) until a few years ago, when I was working at a little cafe in Harlem. My wannabe-ladies-man of a boss added pesto to a regular grilled cheese. It was the only good idea that guy ever had. While it still had a variety of crappy, pre-sliced, orange cheese on it, my mind was blown. The pesto transformed it into something a grown up might consider eating – and not just when they have a cold.
When I started making my own pesto a couple years ago, I began making this fancy version of a grilled cheese sandwich on a regular basis. In fact, it was a big part of the reason I gained 8 pounds during pesto season last year. I promise we’ll do a healthy recipe soon. But not today! Today is all about fresh baked sourdough bread, garden fresh tomatoes, hand made mozzarella, butter, and pesto (of course). If you do it right, it is a meal that needs no sides.
Tomato, Mozzarella, Pesto Sandwich
2 tablespoons pesto
2 slices sourdough bread
Spread a tablespoon of pesto onto each slice of bread. Top with thick slices of tomatoes and mozzarella. Butter the outside of the bread, and place in a large skillet over medium heat. To help the cheese melt, place a heavy lid that’s too small for the skillet (or a plate) on top off the sandwich. Cook both sides for just a few minutes. Once both sides are golden brown, you’re good to go.
While it’s cooking, I like to slice off the end of the sourdough loaf and cover it in pesto. I’m not a patient person, and I’m not sorry.