Blueberry Basil Grilled Cheese
In all honesty, and please let me explain, I think Valentine’s day is ridiculous. I know that I have been talking a lot about it over here and have mentioned it in the last few posts, but I really have to say I say I just think the day is a pretty absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I adore flowers, love notes, and chocolates just as much as next the girl, but I hate that we make one outrageous day of it. It’s bizarre, really. We just give right into the consumerism and the capitalist schemes and end up spending a ridiculous amount of money at a way-too-crowded restaurant, with pink and red balloons all up in your face, while trying to get a bite of an average tasting meal. Ok, that was a bit on the cynical side, but, I had to say it. Kris and I are all about spending a romantic evening dining out and spending money on an overly priced wine, except on this day in particular. It is amateur night at it’s finest. This is why, for the last few posts, I have been encouraging you to spend the day at home with your lover where you can control all the variables and not have to deal with ludicrous Valentine’s day shenanigans. So, to impress my lover, I decided to make him one of our favorite time-honored lunches; an ooey-gooey grilled cheese. We often play with ingredients here; mixing and matching our favorite cheeses with our current filling obsessions. For this grilled cheese, I chose to combine tangy balsamic vinegar with sweet blueberries to star as the filling. Then, layered fresh mozzarella and topped it with basil and arugula and, let me tell you, it was unbelievable. So many flavor combinations happening that it was like a party for the tastebuds. Kris and I curled up on the couch and dove right in to this lunch. Of course, we immediately started measuring who could get the longest melty cheese string from the sandwich to the mouth. Of course, he always wins. It was exactly what I had hoped for and it made my day all the more special. It’s also what I hope for you and your lover. We don’t need a special day to have a delicious (and fun!) meal with each other. We should celebrate each other everyday and take a moment aside to remember that… I hope you enjoy, lovebirds!
- 4 slices bread (we used a sprouted sourdough)
- 1 cup organic blueberries
- 8oz of thinly sliced mozzarella* (see note)
- fresh arugula
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 3 TBSP brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, pepper, and vinegar. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes (smash a few of the blueberries against the side of the pot with your wooden spoon, be sure to leave some whole). Pour the mixture into a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and let the juice separate from the berries. Save this juice syrup for pancakes, waffles, or even a cocktail!
- Layer all bread slices with thin slices of the cheese. Spread the stewed blueberries on two of the bottom bread slices. Sprinkle the blueberries with the sea salt (1/4 teaspoon on each sandwich). Place basil leaves on two of the top bread slices. Place the arugula on the berries. Put the top pieces of bread onto the bottom pieces and press down lightly. Grill in your panini maker or on a grill pan until cheese melted and nice grill marks are visible. Cut the sandwiches in half and enjoy!
- We used mozzarella because we like the creaminess against the sweetness of the blueberries, but feel free to use any of your favorite white cheeses. Muenster, Swiss, White Cheddar, Gouda, or Gruyere would all be amazing. Or perhaps, your favorite vegan cheese.
- This grilled cheese would be perfect with a nice glass of prosecco or champagne brut!