Spinach-Basil Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month. That’s right: somebody somewhere has proclaimed this popular and beloved comfort food worthy of a month-long celebration that it so deserves.
I have been experimenting with grilled cheese sandwiches lately as you saw on here earlier this week with this Caramel Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Grilled cheese is a childhood favorite of mine and it’s always fun to find new ways to reinvent and enjoy it.
Your history lesson for the day: the Ancient Romans were the first civilization to make a cooked bread and cheese sandwich, but many cultures have invented their own take on this ancient sandwich. In France, people enjoy Croque Monsieur (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, recipe for a variation of that on my blog here), while in Switzerland it is customary to melt the cheese and toast the bread separately before combining them. Our classic American grilled cheese sandwich first appeared in the 1920’s when inexpensive cheese and affordable sliced bread became available. It is now a staple in cafés, diners, school cafeterias, and peoples’ homes across the country. Are you still awake?
The crusty toasted bread in this version is like a match made in heaven for the melting cheese and delicious smelling spinach basil pesto made this a match made in heaven. Serve it with some hot tomato soup!
May your cheese always be melted and between 2 slices of buttery bread…
1 tablespoon butter
2 slices bread
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated (provolone also works)
2-3 tablespoons spinach-basil pesto (or just basil pesto)
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
Butter the outside of each slice of bread, sprinkle half of the cheeses on the inside of one slice of bread, top with the spinach pesto, the remaining cheese, and finally, the other slice of bread.
Add the sandwich to the hot pan and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.
Pesto and cheese, what could be better?! And I love your use of Gruyere here… it’s one of my absolute favorite cheeses!
I love anything which includes any type of cheese, but my other half constantly watches (and limits) my cheese intake!
Managed to convince her that Croque Monsieur was more or less mandatory when we visited France… Heaven….
It’s OK in moderation! That’s what I like to tell myself 🙂
I’ve the same problem with my partner.
She seems to relax on breaks and holidays and I’m allowed regular “cheese treats”.
I almost feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs… Salivating at the thought of impending cheese!
I love variations on grilled cheese, and I’m a big pesto fan, so I love this!
Pesto is good in so many things!
Ooh, what a great twist on grilled cheese!
That sounds like a fantastic grilled cheese. Great way to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month!
Happy Valley Chow
I make a similar one but I use provolone slices and goat cheese with the pesto. Sometimes I add tomato slices. I’ve also tried the same mix but with a sundried tomato spread instead of the pesto.
Those all sound like delicious ideas, Dawn!!
I love basil pesto and often use it in my pasta dishes. I can imagine that it will go equally well between two slices of bread!
Thanks, Julia! I love it in pasta, too 🙂
I want this grilled cheese.
In my belly.
This makes my mouth water. I love all the ingredients in this recipe.