A quick and easy grown-up grilled cheese when nothing else will do. vegetarian
I’m feeling like I’ve finally gotten my head out of the clouds from vacation. But each time I put on Hawaii’s traditional slack key guitar music, I’m whisked back to Kauai, to the places that took my breath away.
I miss the roar of the ocean, the sound of wild rooster calling, and walks on the hidden beach, stopping along the way to watch Laysan Albatross pair bond. Did you know they mate for life and can live upwards of 60+ years? They’re also endangered.
All these sights and sounds haunt me.
I’m incredibly grateful for these experiences and others that allow for respite, reflection and immersion in nature. Grateful quiet, open spaces still exist.
If you’ve been following Vanilla And Bean, it may seem like Rob and I have traveled quite a bit lately. And we have. But three years before Claire passed away, we hardly traveled at all due to her and Kittle’s care-taking. I miss my girls.
More travels are yet to come, but it’s hard to want to go anywhere else when the places we’ve been had such a profound impact. We want to go back again and again.
Another such place we recently traveled to and hope to go back again, inspired this Almond-Sage Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Gruyere. On our trip to San Francisco and environs last Fall, we stopped at the famed Tartine Bakery. Have you been? One bite of this sandwich and I knew, I had to share it with y’all.
Like all grilled cheese, it’s a snap to make. I can imagine making this for a quick weeknight dinner, served alongside tomato soup or serving a pile of these shared with friends!
Ingredients for This Grilled Cheese
Simple ingredients come together to make a mouthwatering sandwich. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fresh Sage
- Olive Oil
- Shredded Gruyere
- Sourdough Bread
How to Make Almond Sage Grilled Cheese
Break out the food processor to make the pesto, and grab the freshest loaf of sourdough bread, here’s how to whip up this cheesy sandwich:
- First, toast the almonds then, in a food processor whip up the pesto.
- Second, butter two pieces of sourdough, then spread the pesto on both pieces.
- Next, place the bread, butter side down in a hot skillet, sprinkle both pieces with cheese, then lid the pan for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
- Last, once the cheese is melted, and the bread is toasty, your sandwich is ready!
A Few Recipe Notes
- A perfect partner for this sandwich is Tomato Red Bell Pepper Soup
- The freshest sourdough makes a fabulous sandwich with the crustiest edges and most delicious flavor.
- Make Ahead? Yes please! Whip up the pesto at least three days ahead of when needed. It’s freezer friendly too!
- Not a fan of Gruyere? Try sharp white cheddar!
More Vegetarian Sandwiches to Love
- Pulled Portobello BBQ Sandwiches
- Italian Pressed Sandwich with Olive Tapenade
- Roasted Beet and Sauerkraut Sandwich
- Mushroom Goat Cheese Veggie Panini
- Cheese-less Smashed Pimento Chickpea Sandwich
Almond-Sage Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Gruyere
For the Pesto: (Yields 2/3 C or 160g)
- 1/4 C Almonds 50g
- 1 C Fresh Sage 24g
- 3 Cloves of Garlic 16g
- Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
- Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 C + 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil 79g
For the Sandwich:
- 1 C Gruyere Cheese Grated, 100g
- Rustic Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Unsalted Butter
For the Pesto:
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Toast the almonds for 7-8 minutes or until toasty and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, add the almonds, sage, garlic, lemon juice, zest and sea salt. Process until small bits form. With the processor running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream. Process for another 30 seconds or until a chunky paste forms.
- Store in a lidded container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months.
For the Sandwich:
- Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium low while lightly buttering two slices of bread on one side each. In the skillet, place the butter sides down into the pan and spread about 1 1/2 Tbs of pesto on each side. Divide about 1/3 C (33g) of cheese total, between both slices of bread. With both slices of bread, cheese side up, grill on medium-low with lid on for four minutes (set a timer). Remove from heat and let sit, lid on, for an additional three minutes (again, set a timer) - but check after two minutes just to make sure the toast isn't too toasty!
- Using a spatula, remove each side carefully from the pan and put the sandwich together. Cut and serve immediately.
- If serving a few at the same time, place in a warmed 200F (93C) oven while grilling the other sandwiches.