Monday, August 22, 2011

Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Tomato Sauce

If anyone knows me, they know my obsession with watching Food Network for inspiration. The new show Shaun and I have been watching is The Great Food Truck Race - Sunday nights at 9pm. It's only the 2nd week of the show so you can still get into it! I'm cheering for Roxy's Grilled Cheese from Boston, of course. This post is actually in honor of them with my adult version of a grilled cheese sandwich. Who doesn't love grilled cheese?

Check out their amazing menu:
* Green Muenster Melt: muenster cheese, homemade guacamole, applewood bacon
* Mighty Rib Melt: fontina, braised short ribs, caramelized onions
* Mushroom Melt: confit of wild mushroom, baby swiss, fresh arugula
* Rookie Melt: vermont cheddar and vine ripe tomato

Not to mention, they have Grilled Cheesecake for dessert - homemade cheesecake between griddled butter poundcake - ummm yes please!

Anyway... back to me people. Pay attention.

Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Food & Wine

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can of diced tomatoes, liquid drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh basil
1/2 tsp oregano
Half of a 9 oz bag baby spinach, washed and shredded
4 long baguette rolls, cut in half horizontally
8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add the spinach and simmer until the spinach silts and the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes longer. Cover to keep warm.
 Top 4 sides of the rolls with mozzarella. Spoon some of the spinach mixture over each, spreading the spinach to the edges of the bread. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the spinach and top with the remaining bread sides.

In a large nonstick frying pan sprayed with cooking oil, cook two sandwiches at a time, or whatever fits. Turn them once, cooking just until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, about 4-6 minutes in all. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, keeping the first batch warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree F oven. Serves 4.

Feel free to experiment with different types of cheeses in this sandwich. I think the mozzarella keeps it gooey and melty and the goat cheese adds a nice tang! The tomato sauce really thickens up when cooked down this way - it is nothing like a pasta sauce. This sauce actually holds its own and doesn't drip off the bread. Make sure you actually grill the bread enough so that it can withstand the sandwich ingredients. The baguettes I used stayed soft in the middle but got crusty on the outside - the perfect combination of textures.

I served these grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner with a side of tater tots. What can I say - fries in any form are my weakness! This just goes to show that this recipe is easy enough to make for a weeknight meal. It is surprisingly filling for a vegetarian entree as well.

Try it out if you don't believe me.

Tutti Mangia! 


Moriah said...

OMG this looks beyond amazing!! I NEED to try this ASAP! :) Who doesn't love grilled cheese!

Alex said...

I've been craving grilled cheese! We just watched this also. looks like a great sandwich!

lola said...

Hi Princess! That looks delicious.

Alexis said...

i watch it too! i want the vegans to win..obv!!!! …love this post, im craving grilled cheese haha

Trisha said...

What a lovely sandwich. I love that this is meatless!

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