Loaded Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Take grilled cheese to the next level by loading it up with summer veggies.  Recipe developer, Mary Jane Miller, says start out by grabbing some mayonnaise.

Ingredients:

Good bread
Good melting cheese: muenster, fontina, Jack, or mozzarella
Full flavored cheese: sharp cheddar, gruyere, blue, or aged gouda
Dill pickle relish
Sandwich veggies: tomato, avocado, spinach, onion, cooked kale
Fresh herbs: dill, basil, or cilantro
Salt and pepper
Mayonnaise

For each sandwich:

  1. Place one slice of bread on a work surface. Arrange a thin slice of melting cheese on bread.  Top with a thin slice of full flavored cheese.
  2. Spread on a little dill pickle relish. Top with your choice of veggies.  Season veggies with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle on some chopped fresh herbs.
  3. Top with another thin slice of full flavored cheese and a final slice of melting cheese.
  4. Top with second slice of bread and spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Place mayo side down in a cold nonstick skillet.  Spread mayo on the top of the sandwich.  Cook over low heat until well browned.  Turn and continue to cook until golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Summer Gazpacho

This is best made the day before you want to serve it to give the flavors a chance to blend.

2  pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
½ cup vegetable juice
1 cup cucumber, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
finely chopped cucumber, bell pepper, and fresh herbs for garnish

Toss all ingredients except the garnish in a blender or food processor.  Pulse to blend to desired consistency.  I like to leave a little bit of texture. Pour into jars and chill.

Tomatoes vary in the amount of natural pectins and their juiciness.  After chilling overnight you may need to thin the soup with up to an additional cup of vegetable juice.

Serve topped with chopped cucumber, bell pepper and fresh herbs, if desired.

Makes 3 ½ cups (about 4 servings)

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