Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

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  • Yield: 2 sandwiches
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4 slices thick-cut sourdough bread

1 ball (1 pound) fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 plum tomatoes, cut into thick slices

1 cup fresh Basil Pesto, recipe follows

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

Basil Pesto:

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano

2 garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Assemble sandwich by smearing insides of bread slices with pesto. Arrange a layer of sliced tomato and season with a few turns of fresh pepper. Layer the mozzarella slices over the top and then place another piece of bread on top to make the sandwich. Drizzle olive oil over skillet's surface and place sandwiches on the hot skillet or panini press. If using a skillet, place another heavy skillet over the top to form a "press". Turn after 2 to 3 minutes and replace weight. The sandwich is ready when golden brown and mozzarella has melted around the edges.

Basil Pesto:

  1. Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined but still rough-textured. If you have a panini press, turn it on to warm up; otherwise, set a cast iron skillet over medium heat.