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Roasted Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese

Roasted Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese | A Couple Cooks

Roasted Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese | A Couple CooksThe only thing that stands between a person and what they want in life is the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible. Belief fuels enthusiasm. Enthusiasm explodes into passion. Passion fires our souls and lifts our spirits. Having a simple, clearly-defined goal can capture the imagination and inspire passion. -Michael D. Krause

For Alex and me, that goal was to learn to cook. We started with little more than the will to try. I couldn’t even boil a pot of water for pasta. (Seriously, I was a lost cause.) But over the years we learned, little by little, to have the faith to believe it was possible.

People ask us how to get started cooking. Some of our best advice is: just try it. Believe that it is possible. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect first time. Give yourself grace. Try and try again. Take risks and gain the rewards, or learn from the failure. Be enthusiastic, and let your enthusiasm grow into passion. It sounds really generic, but this is about 90% of what we know about cooking — and food photography, for that matter.

Here’s a recipe that’s great for the beginning cook: it’s easy, but a little more than “just grilled cheese” since it involves roasting tomatoes and using fresh herbs. The juice from the roasted tomatoes is mixed with a bit of mayo for a killer sauce (while we don’t use much mayonnaise in our recipes, it’s essential here). The combination of the savory tomatoes, silky mayonnaise and fresh basil on crunchy grilled bread is a little bit of heaven, and just might inspire you to more beautiful things you can create in the kitchen.

Roasted Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese
 
by:
Makes: 4
What You Need
  • 8 slices of bread
  • 2 pints (4 cups) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 8 basil leaves
  • Kosher salt
What To Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the tomatoes on the sheet. Roast for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are starting to burst.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and carefully mash with a potato masher to extract the juice. Strain the tomatoes completely and reserve the juice in a small bowl. Mix about 1 tablespoon of the juice into ¼ cup mayonnaise until it has the consistency of a sauce (alternatively, double the tomato juice and mayonnaise if you'd like to end up with extra). Reserve the strained tomatoes and sprinkle them with kosher salt.
  3. Assemble the sandwich: Spread each slice of bread with tomato mayo. Top with ¼ of the strained tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, and some torn up pieces of basil. Sprinkle it all with a pinch of kosher salt and top with another slice of bread.
  4. Heat a grill pan to medium high and brush it with butter. Cook the sandwiches until toasty and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
 

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Comments 23

  1. Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

    What a lovely recipe. I never think of roasting tomatoes but it really brings out the sweetness. You’re so right about just trying it. When I got married I didn’t know how to cook anything but macaroni. A few cookbooks and pork later I was well on my way.

  2. Tina Muir

    Oh my, this looks amazing! PLEASE add this to my meatless monday recipe, people need to see this recipe! My other half LOVES grilled cheese, and this is just one step (if not more) even better :)

  3. Chrystin @ A Mate & a Rottweiler

    What a simple & delicious sandwich! The photo is beautiful and I love the quote you posted at the beginning—it’s the perfect quote for my husband & I at this point in our lives where we are transitioning and starting a new adventure! :-)

    Kisses from Buenos Aires xx

  4. Susan

    YUM!!!!!!! I’m definitely going to try this sandwich.

    So glad you guys persisted with cooking. I can still remember learning to cook, even though it was more than 50 years ago. It was definitely trial and error, because my mother would not take the time to teach me to cook. However, if I was quiet, I could watch her, and that really paid off when it came to certain techniques (like making dumpling noodles), because I absorbed the technique from watching so it wasn’t too hard when I actually went to make them.

  5. Kathryn

    “Give yourself grace” – I love that. It’s definitely something I need to get better at. I’m another one who is so glad that you continued cooking and you continue to share your recipes with us; this is pretty much the sandwich of my dreams.

  6. Sandy

    This looks absolutely delicious. I love roasted tomatoes and I have a grill pan! Making this, this week.

  7. Dani

    You have just made my new favourite sandwich. I couldn’t think of something I want more right now… and I’m in bed writing this having just cleaning my teeth… mmm :)

  8. Nicole B.

    Just yesterday I was thinking how I wanted to find a recipe for grilled cheese with an extra delicious twist and this looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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