One Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwich
One Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwich

"Anna Getty's Easy Green Organic" is a helpful primer about switching to organic ingredients without being preachy. Getty makes a reasoned argument for changing to a green pantry, and explains what is organic and how to decode labels on food packaging. This is a good book for those seeking to change the way they shop and cook. And, best of all, the book is brimming with wonderful recipes.

One of the gems that Getty offers up to readers is a grilled cheese sandwich full of summertime flavor. A coarsely textured tomato relish is spread on thick slices of country bread. Thin slices of the Spanish sheep's milk cheese manchego are layered with basil leaves and store-bought olive tapenade. All of these complementary tastes add up to a divine sandwich. When you are in the mood for summer flavors with little cooking required, try this for lunch, as a snack or for a light dinner.

A few tips:

-- Manchego is Spain's most famous cheese. It's made from sheep's milk, and is usually aged from six to 18 months. A six-month-old cheese melts nicely.

-- If you don't have a grill pan, feel free to use a regular heavy-bottomed frying pan.

Grilled Manchego Cheese Sandwiches with Fresh Tomato Spread

Serves 2

1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Four 3/4-inch-thick slices country bread

3 ounces manchego cheese, thinly sliced (6 slices)

4 fresh basil leaves

4 teaspoons olive tapenade

Butter for grilling

1. With a mortar and pestle, mash together the tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper until a chunky puree forms. (If you don't have a mortar and pestle use a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a chunky puree).

2. Spread the tomato puree onto 2 slices of the bread. Top with the cheese slices. Lay 2 basil leaves per sandwich on top of the cheese layer. Spread a thin layer of olive tapenade on the remaining 2 slices of bread. Place the bread face down onto the cheese slices.

3. Heat a grill pan over medium-low heat, melt a small pat of butter, and add the sandwiches, weighting each one with a small pot lid. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn them. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.

Available at Amazon.com:

Anna Getty's Easy Green Organic

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor

Stonewall Kitchen: Grilling: Fired-Up Recipes for Cooking Outdoors All Year Long

Luscious Coconut Desserts

Tapas: Sensational Small Plates From Spain

Simply Organic: A Cookbook for Sustainable, Seasonal, and Local Ingredients

 

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