Grilled Cheese + Arugula Pesto
I am embarrassingly clumsy. Without a doubt, there is more truth to that statement now that I'm a mom. A chair could be sitting in front of me and I will absolutely walk right into it at full speed, stubbing my toe and creating a new bruise on my knee. There are some days when Brad can't do anything but chuckle at me because I am running into and tripping on everything in the room. Eventually I reach a point when I have to give up and sit down to collect myself. I feel like this happens because I'm trying to do approximately 2 million things simultaneously. We all do that sometimes, don't we? It's possible that the only solution is to slow down, be aware of our surroundings, and eat a grilled cheese sandwich and watch a Disney movie.
Yes, that is acceptable at your age.
There's something about grilled cheese that immediately brings me back to being a kid cuddled up with my favorite blanket on the couch. Life was slower. I had bruises but they were from playing outside, not a result of mindlessly running into furniture.
There is nothing wrong with the classic grilled cheese of my youth. Buttered, toasted bread and melty cheese is never a bad thing. But sometimes it is fun to put a new twist on a childhood favorite. Arugula pesto is one of those things, like basil pesto, that is so easy to make and instantly brings a level of elegance to a meal. It can be used as a pizza sauce, drizzled over scrambled eggs, and in this case, a way to give grilled cheese a face lift. I'm also toying with the idea of gnocchi tossed with fresh peas and arugula pesto. Yes?
Even if you are not clumsy and you manage to move from place to place with ease, I feel confident you will find the perfect moment to make this grilled cheese sandwich. Remember to take your time, as you should in life, when you are making this. Toast the bread slowly, which helps create a more evenly golden and crispy crust and helps the cheese to melt perfectly.And don't be stingy with the butter. That is key.
I will never outgrow grilled cheese. Or Disney movies. And I'm OK with that. What are your favorite comfort food/movie combinations? I'd love to hear about them!
Grilled Cheese with Arugula Pesto
Makes 1 sandwich
2 slices honey whole wheat bread
3 T butter, room temperature (easier for spreading)
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons arugula pesto (recipe below)
Take 2 tablespoons of butter and spread it evenly on both sides of each piece of bread. In a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat. Place the two slices of bread in the pan and toast until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn the bread slices over and begin toasting the other side. While the bread toasts, spread the pesto on one of the slices. On top of the pesto, add the mozzarella cheese in an even layer. Top with the other slice of bread with the more toasted side on the inside of the sandwich. Toast the sandwich for about 2 minutes on each side or until the bread has a golden crust. Cut in half and serve immediately.
3 cups arugula
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
In the bowl of a food processor, add the arugula, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, slowly stream the olive oil into the arugula mixture. Process until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.