Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Perfect Grilled Cheese

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my favorite uses for pesto is to combine it with mayonnaise.  Pesto mayo is a great spread on many different types of sandwiches, but my choice always and will be to use it on a grilled cheese sandwich.  I had never even heard of pesto mayo until I went to a cafe in DC with my roommate and she ordered this sandwich.  I ordered one as well after hearing her gush about it and I absolutely fell in love with it.  It's such a simple sandwich but the flavors combine together to make such a savory lunch.  While I was at school I was always dying to recreate it.  Unfortunately, I was without a food processor, so once I made pesto in my new processor at home I knew this was going to be the first thing I did with it.  I don't know if I'll ever put pesto on anything unless it's mixed up with mayonnaise.

The combination of basil, mayo, garlic, and cheese is so savory and the red onion and tomato give extra body to the sandwich.  I'd suggest mixing different types of cheese when making this sandwich to add more depth to the flavor.  I've been eating these sandwiches for weeks and would love to take the time now to show you how to make the perfect grilled cheese.

There are three tips to making the perfect grilled cheese:
- Use lots of cheese
- Keep the frying pan on medium - low heat
- Use lots of butter

So first, here's how you put the sandwich together.

Take your pesto mayo, which is just equal amounts of pesto and mayonnaise mixed together, and spread it on a piece of bread.

Layer with a piece of cheese (my favorite is white American cheese) and pieces of tomato.

Layer with a second piece of cheese and slices of red onion.

Layer with a third piece of cheese and spread more pesto mayo on the second piece of bread.

Melt about 1/2 tbsp of butter in a frying pan over medium to low heat.  When the butter begins to bubble, place the sandwich in the frying pan.

Spread butter on the top piece of bread and when the underside is golden brown flip the sandwich and cook on the other side.  Leave the stove on medium - low heat so the sandwich cooks slowly and all of those layers of cheese have time to melt.  At this point, you can also cover the pan with a lid to allow the steam to melt the cheese.

Remove from heat and enjoy!  You're welcome.


  1. Yum! I've always been a simple grilled cheese lover, but I will definitely try your pesto mayo recipe, that sounds amazing!

  2. I'm drooling. Want this NOW :) Love the pesto and mayo combo! So creative.

  3. wow -- I am so trying that. Yum. It's lunch time too. And I was just going to get a smoothie and try and be healthy. Now that's out the window.

  4. Okay I was gonna steal this but then I saw the mayo. So if you could just remove that I shall resume stealing it out of the screen. For some I cannot eat mayo, makes me wicked sick. Otherwise this sandwich is the bomb.

  5. Pesto mayo is such a great topping. I HATE mayo, but add pesto and it is yummy!

  6. @Erin Haha I'm actually not a huge fan of pesto but mix it up with some mayo and it has a completely different flavor. Who would have thought?


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