Not surprisingly, grilled cheese sandwiches at their most basic are a trip down memory lane.
For a lot of us, that trip involved white bread and yellow cheese. No harm, no foul - that simple grilled cheese tucked alongside a bowl of tomato soup turned a frown upside down.
Recently, California has seen a brilliant expansion in artisan cheese. Couple that with local products to go with those new cheeses and there is a stunning variety of opportunities. McEvoy Ranch recently released a trio of savory jams - all of which are going to be good friends with our local and not-so-local cheeses.
McEvoy Ranch Spicy Sweet Pepper Jam is perfectly balanced with just a little kick. Accordingly, it made a delicious glaze for the roasted Spring veggies. Teleme is a soft but not runny cheese with a lovely yeasty aroma. Red Bird Bakery from Santa Rosa, a local favorite, provided the seeded handcrafted loaf that gave us the crisp crust and soft crumb we were looking for to complete the package.
Grilled Cheese with Spicy Sweet Pepper Jam Glazed Spring Vegetables and Teleme Cheese
Makes 2 sandwiches
2 Tbs. McEvoy Ranch Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1/2 cup McEvoy Ranch Spicy Sweet Pepper Jam, divided
8 spears asparagus, thin to medium size, trimmed to fit bread
6 slices zucchini, 1/4" thick
4 slices red onion, 1/4" thick
1 cup spinach
Red Bird Bakery Seeded Rustic White, sliced 3/4"
4 - 6 oz. Peluso Teleme Cheese, sliced
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Brush asparagus, zucchini and red onion with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with Sea salt. Be sure to coat evenly and on both sides of sliced vegetables.
Place in a roasting or saute pan, place in oven and roast for 7 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and brush all sides of vegetables with spicy sweet pepper jam.
Place back in the oven and roast for another 7 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven. Toss the spinach into the pan and let wilt. Set aside.
Coat one side of each slice of bread with olive oil and place oil side down in saute pan or on a Panini grill.
Coat the other side of the bread slices with spicy sweet pepper jam.
Place Teleme cheese on top of the jam.
Arrange vegetables on top of cheese and top with the other slice of bread, jam side down.
Grill or grill press until the cheese is melted.
Finally, enjoy with a glass of Bonfiglio Vineyard White Blend and I assure you, your frown, should you have one, will turn upside down!