Meatless Monday: Zucchini Grilled Cheese

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Several years ago, we received a promotional mailing from American Express.  We normally toss these straight into the trash, even before opening, but for some reason, we were intrigued by this one.  Food & Wine: Does it get any better than that?!  We love to eat, cook, and drink wine.  Sign us up!

Tonight’s recipe is one of our favorite finds from our Food & Wine subscription.  I just looked at the publication date when I looked up the recipe: 2009!  Yikes!  How has it been 6 years that we’ve been making this one on a regular basis?!  Time really does fly!  But, that should tell you just how good this one is!

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the pesto.  You could follow the pesto recipe for anything.  (I love a good pesto in the summer!)  This sandwich really comes together quickly, which is another plus.  We often use our panini press to grill the zucchini AND grill the sandwiches, but I was out of counter space the other night and chose my trusty grill pan instead.  I bought a veggie pack from Trader Joe’s (SO GOOD – I don’t know why I don’t do it more often!) to serve on the side.  It included mushrooms, red onions, and asparagus, and I added some mini bell peppers that I needed to cook.  Just sauteed in a pan with some EVOO, and our meal was complete!

Grilled Gruyère-and-Zucchini Sandwiches with Smoky Pesto

(From Food & Wine)


1 packed cup basil leaves
1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped (I just throw the garlic into my food processor first, chop, and then add in the remaining ingredients)
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
One 8-ounce zucchini, cut into 4 lengthwise slices
4 English muffins, preferably Bays, split (Look for a whole-wheat option!)
4 ounces Gruyère or Appenzeller cheese, cut into 8 thin slices


In a mini food processor, combine the basil, garlic and paprika and process until finely chopped. (Put garlic clove in whole, chop, then add the basil and paprika.)  With the machine on, gradually pour in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil until blended. Season the pesto with salt.
Light a grill. Brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each zucchini slice in half crosswise.
Grill the English muffins, cut side down, over low heat, until just soft, about 30 seconds. Turn and grill until the muffins start to brown, about 1 minute. Spread the cut sides of the muffins with the pesto. Layer 1 slice of cheese, 2 zucchini pieces and 1 more slice of cheese on the bottom halves of each muffin. Close the sandwiches and brush the tops and bottoms with olive oil. Grill the sandwiches over low heat, turning, until they’re crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve right away.

Zucchini Grilled Cheese

Bon Appétit!



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