Grilled Cheese and Tomato with Kale Pesto
Makes 4 sandwiches
When we were kids, our grandmother used to take us to Burger Heaven (a New York City establishment with several outposts) for grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches. To this day, if we’re near a Burger Heaven, we’ll sit at the counter and have one—with a Diet Coke—and it always, always hits the spot. We’ve upgraded it here a bit with kale pesto, Fontina, and Parmesan, and it is probably one of the most delicious, comforting, and crowd-pleasing recipes in our collection.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 slices (½ inch thick) country white bread
½ cup Kale Pesto (recipe follows) or other pesto
½ pound Fontina cheese, thinly sliced 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about ½ cup)
- Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 of the slices buttered side down on a work surface and spread with the pesto. Arrange half of the Fontina on top, followed by all of the tomato. Sprinkle with Parmesan and layer with the remaining Fontina. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices buttered side up.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sandwiches and cook until the bottoms of the sandwiches are browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip the sandwiches and cook, pressing with a spatula, until the bottoms of the sandwiches are browned and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes longer.
- Transfer the sandwiches to a work surface and let cool slightly. Halve the sandwiches and serve hot.
Makes about 1½ cups
1 bunch kale (about 8 ounces)
2 medium garlic cloves
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and garlic and blanch for 1 minute. Immediately drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Use your hands to squeeze the kale dry.
- Transfer the kale, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and Parmesan to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, about 25 pulses. With the motor running, gradually add the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt.
- Store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
*Photographed by Aubrie Pick