There’s nothing better than a perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwich… That was, until our friend Hanan from @ohmygoodiescc sent us her blog and recipe for Sangria Grilled Cheese Sandwiches! She has put together some tips and tricks on how to elevate your grilled cheese experience, into a gourmet delight that is hearty enough to serve for dinner. This twist on the classic grilled cheese is loaded with Mediterranean flavors, and fresh, colorful tomatoes, making it a work of art you can eat.
The classic grilled cheese sandwich has long been a staple for many families. I know it was definitely one that I enjoyed growing up! Be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it was the perfect “any time” sandwich and one that my mom mastered every time. She made them to order and it was always perfectly golden brown. Sometimes they were plain, sometimes they had pickles, but they almost always involved tomatoes. I have always had mine grilled with tomatoes and then dipped into ketchup. Funny enough, this is exactly how my kids enjoy it today! As we get older though, our palates tend to change. That’s not to say that I don’t still enjoy a traditional grilled cheese (because I do!) but sometimes, it’s nice to elevate things.
There have already been so many variations of a grilled cheese, from the type of bread, to the many different varieties of cheese. This twist though, will take you all the way to the Mediterranean. I’ve merged my love of grilled cheese and my love of Italian food into one delicious sandwich! It does take a little more time than your traditional sandwich, but I can guarantee you that it is well worth the extra effort. Even my picky eaters enjoyed this one. My recipe uses flatbread, basil pesto, both fresh and shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan, lots of garlic, and the most delicious oven roasted tomatoes.
The Pure Flavor® Sangria® Tomato Medley is absolutely perfect for this recipe. Side note, these tomatoes are also great for snacking. We always like to have them on hand for salads and they are a definite lunchbox favorite for my kids. Sangria® tomatoes are sweet and tart all at the same time, which, in all honesty, perfectly complements this Italian style grilled cheese sandwich. You could just slice them up and add them to your sandwich as is, but for this recipe, we’re cooking them first. There’s a special sweetness that comes from roasting these little gems that adds a whole next level of flavor, and the slight tartness cuts through the richness of the cheese. As an added bonus, the colors are just gorgeous! I’m not sure that we will ever be able to go back to plain old boring tomato slices in our sandwiches again.
One extra step that I like to do, is to take the juices that are released from oven roasting the tomatoes, along with the roasted garlic cloves, and blend them together with some grated parmesan and basil to make a spread. I add the spread to one half of the flatbread before grilling. It doubles as a great dressing for a side salad that is also topped with both fresh and roasted Sangria® tomatoes, along with a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze. (Pro tip: the garlic and tomato sauce also makes a delicious dip for your sandwich!)
Don’t worry if you don’t have a griddle though! A pan or skillet will work just as well. Or, if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even toss it on the grill. Whichever way you decide to toast it, you won’t regret it!
Putting your own twist on recipes doesn’t have to end at grilled cheese! By changing some herbs and spices, or swapping ingredients, like regular grape tomatoes with our Sangria® tomatoes, you can take any recipe and elevate it to new levels. So, go ahead and get creative in the kitchen! Not only will you discover some exciting flavor combinations, but it will also make you more comfortable with customizing recipes to suit every taste around the table.
For Hanan’s full Sangria Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe, click here.
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