The fusion of pizza and sandwiches – why not, right? I’ve seen some crazy grilled cheese combos on various foodie sites lately and while this one isn’t necessarily crazy wild, it’s different enough for our family that I was intrigued enough to try it out. Also, I sometimes crave the simplicity that leaving meat out does for my time saving once in a while. The thing that really bowled me over, though, was how willing hubby was to do without that meat in his sandwich. And – he loved ’em! Sis blogging partner and I loved these, too, but that was pretty much a no brainer.
These are really simple sandwiches to make…well, in all honesty, they’re a little more work than regular grilled cheese, but not too much. Definitely not too much to be too much, if you know what I mean.
The thing that takes these grilled cheese to the next level are the seasonings. First, rub each side of the bread slices with the flat of a piece of garlic.
Slice your mozzerella as thin as possible if you’re using fresh. I admit to struggling with it that day. If you have one of those wire cheese board/cutters, those work great for soft cheeses like fresh mozzerella.
Start by layering on a little of the cheese, then your tomato slices.
Next, sprinkle onto the tomatoes a little garlic pepper seasoning. We used the garlic-pepper blend by McCormick that has a little bell pepper in it, too.
On top of the tomatoes goes a nice, big leaf of basil. You can leave that whole or tear it into pieces. On top of the basil, begin layering more thin-sliced mozzarella.
Like you might prep a pizza crust for margherita pizza, brush the tops of your bread slices with a little olive oil.
Last step before putting them on a hot grill pan or into a hot skillet: a little bit more of that garlic pepper seasoning. We cooked ours for about 4-6 minutes on each side till they were nice and golden brown.
Since I didn’t get our cheese sliced thinner than seen here, it didn’t all melt quite as much as we expected. However, it was just enough for hubby and I and they tasted absolutely sensational. Fresh, light and still full of flavor. Sis blogging partner heated hers in the microwave for a few seconds and this helped melt the cheese just enough. These are so, so good and a really welcome change from our typical American cheese grilled sandwiches. Pair ’em with soup or your favorite pasta salad and you will be quite happily set!
Grilled Margherita Sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: about 10 minutes Level: easy Makess: 2 sandwiches
- 4 (1/2-inch) slices crusty Italian bread
- 1 large garlic clove, quartered
- 4 to 6 thin slices whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 3 oz.)
- 1 large plum tomato, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic-pepper seasoning
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Rub both sides of each bread slice with garlic. Place 2 slices on work surface; top each with one-fourth of the cheese and half of the tomato and basil. Sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon of the seasoning; top with remaining cheese and bread slices.
Brush tops of sandwiches with some of the oil; sprinkle with some of the seasoning. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Place sandwiches, brushed-sides down, in skillet; cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and cheese on bottom of sandwich begins to melt.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Brush tops of sandwiches with remaining oil; sprinkle with remaining seasoning. Turn; cover and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.