Anyway, back to grilled cheese (see?! I'm not kidding about being easily distracted). I couldn't just let this month go by without at least one serious dedication. So that's where my buddy Tyler stepped up to the plate. He gave me a recipe that I will cherish forever, as will future generations of grilled cheese lovers! I did cheat a little though, because I was short on time, and ended up using store-bought basil pesto instead of making it from scratch like Tyler did. Just keeping it real between you and me, dear readers. When I make it again though, maybe for a crowd, I'll make my own pesto. To accompany these scrumptious sandwiches, I threw together a quick salad of avocado, kidney beans, roasted corn, red onions and fresh lime juice (inspired by something very similar that my skinnier-than-me-dammit-yet-awesome sister-in-law makes). Remember, DH and I are giving salads a fair shot from now on!
The thing with Tyler is that he has excellent timing (hmmmmmmmmm, perhaps in more ways than one, eh?!). What I mean by that is, he couldn't have picked a better day for me to make this recipe. It was deliciously warm and bright outside, and the air was fragrant with the first buds of spring. Outside my window I could see families strolling about, kids laughing and playing - basically everyone looked happy! Which is what the perfect spring day should look like. To give you some perspective, take a look at this view from my window just a couple of months ago ...
Tyler's Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (find original recipe on Food Network's site)
Click Here For Printable Recipe
8 slices rye bread
4 quarter-inch slices of fresh mozzarella
3 plum tomatoes, cut into thick slices
1 cup fresh basil pesto, recipe follows (or use the store-bought stuff)
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined but still rough-textured.
3. Assemble sandwich by smearing insides of bread slices with pesto. Arrange a layer of sliced tomato and season with a few turns of fresh pepper. Layer the mozzarella slices over the top and then place another piece of bread on top to make the sandwich.
I'm submitting this for the next Tyler Florence Fridays round-up, tout de suite! Ladies, this is a hot one!