It’s snowing again in Dallas-Fort Worth and I worked up an appetite carrying my spoiled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on our wintry walk. I was planning on making panzanella for lunch but I was also craving grilled cheese and tomato soup. That’s when inspiration struck!
Grilled Cheese Panzanella with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Two small vines with cherry tomatoes
Four small slices multigrain bread (I buy Central Market’s baby loaves; if you have regular sized bread, just make one grilled cheese instead of two small ones)
Good Irish cheddar
4-5 button mushrooms, quartered
Handful power greens
1/2 of an avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
Tbsp chopped rosemary
Tbsp chopped parsley
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Put tomatoes in an oven safe dish, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of garlic sea salt (if you have it). Pop dish into oven and set your time for ten minutes. (If I’m completely honest, I threw it in early because I’m impatient.)
2) While your tomatoes are roasting, lightly butter both sides of each of your breads and fill with cheese. I’m not going to tell you how to make grilled cheese. Everyone has their favorite method! I only had Irish cheddar and chive cream cheese in the fridge so that’s what I used, with a tiny sprinkling of Parmesan. I love using a bit of cream cheese because it seals the sandwich when you press it together.
3) Add sandwiches and mushrooms to the cast iron skillet. Add a dot of butter for the mushrooms. Keep an eye on your sandwich while you’re on step four and flip when the first side is golden.
4) While that’s cooking, chop your greens. You could really use any greens you’d like. I used Central Market’s power green mix. Throw the greens in a bowl and add the avocado, sundried tomato, and herbs. Give the salad a nice little massage. The oil from the sundried tomato will coat your greens for a make-shift dressing.
5) If you forgot to keep an eye on your grilled cheese and flip it, do so now. Also check on your mushrooms to make sure they’re evenly cooking. When they look delicious, add the mushrooms to your greens.
6) When your bread is golden and the cheese is melts, throw the little sandwiches on a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces. Add to salad and gently toss.
7) Remove tomatoes from the oven and throw them on top of the panzanella.
8) To eat, gently break up the roasted tomatoes with your fork. The warm juice from the tomatoes makes this panzanella taste like grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup!
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!