Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Homemade Basil Pesto

Here's an awesome twist on a favorite, comfort food classic, Grilled Cheese. This turned out so good, Avery said she may never go back to the traditional Grilled Cheese again. You can cheat and use store bought pesto to make it easier. The mozzarella was so stringy, and was ooey, gooey goodness at it's best!

4 slices thick-cut sourdough bread
1 ball (1 pound) fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 plum tomatoes, cut into thick slices
1 cup fresh basil pesto, recipe follows
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Basil pesto:
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make pesto:

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined but still rough-textured.

To build the sandwich:

If you have a panini press, turn it on to warm up; otherwise, set a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Assemble sandwich by smearing insides of bread slices with pesto. Arrange a layer of sliced tomato and season with a few turns of fresh pepper. Layer the mozzarella slices over the top and then place another piece of bread on top to make the sandwich. Drizzle olive oil over skillet's surface and place sandwiches on the hot skillet or panini press. If using a skillet, place another heavy skillet over the top to form a "press". Turn after 2 to 3 minutes and replace weight. The sandwich is ready when golden brown and mozzarella has melted around the edges.


  1. I agree with Avery! This was the best grilled cheese I've ever had!!

  2. This has become a favorite in our house! After getting a new panini maker, we came up with this idea recently when we made a trip to Eatzi's and thought that this combination would go well together. After reading your post, we decided to try the olive oil on the skillet first and think that it helped to make the bread crispier. We'll have to try your basil pesto, sounds really good! What a treat!