Grilled Cheese with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil
and pesto roasted cauliflower
This rustic grilled cheese has all the great flavors of Italian caprese salad, including mozzarella, tomatoes, basil. Using sun-dried tomatoes gives the warm sandwich a more rich, concentrated flavor than you can get using fresh. While you prep and make the sandwiches, let the oven do all the work on a roasted cauliflower side dish.
- Cauliflower florets - 1 lb
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Cheese, parmesan - 1 oz
- Basil leaves - 1 1/2 oz
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil - 1/2 cup, drained and chopped
- Cheese, fresh mozzarella - 5 oz, sliced
- Basil - 16 leaves
- Bread, sandwich - 8 slices
- Butter - 4 Tbsp
- Cauliflower / Sun-dried tomatoes - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pesto - Double if making Thursday’s meal. Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese (reserve the rind if making Thursday’s meal), basil leaves (portion for the pesto) and lemon juice into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Mozzarella / Basil (for the sandwiches) - Thinly slice cheese. Tear basil leaves.
- Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
- Spread cauliflower florets out onto a sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. ‘Steam’ in oven for 10 minutes.
- While cauliflower steams, set out ingredients for the sandwiches - bread, butter, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves.
- Once cauliflower has steamed, remove foil and toss with cooking oil and some salt and pepper. Return pan to oven and roast until cauliflower is tender and golden brown, another 14 to 18 minutes.
- When cauliflower is nearly finished, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread half the slices of bread with half the butter and place them butter-side down in the skillet. Top with basil leaves, then cheese and then sun-dried tomatoes. Add remaining slices of bread and brush the tops with remaining half of butter. Sear sandwiches on both sides until golden brown and cheese is melted.
- When cauliflower is finished, toss with pesto (remember to reserve half if doubled).
- Serve grilled cheese with roasted cauliflower on the side. Enjoy!
The sauce was very decadent. I would do a few things differently: -Not add sun-dried tomatoes, too chewy and not too tasty -Continue to add Italian seasoning to the chicken (as per other commenters.) I also didn't make the potatoes as others said it was rather time-consuming, however I had butternut squash spirals as a side and it was a delicious companion to the chicken. Also - I had to cook the chicken longer at the end, the times listed were not enough to fully cook the chicken.0 Helpful
Too many competing flavors with the pesto and the sauce for the chicken. I'd make the chicken and sauce the same way again but leave the pesto out of the cauliflower and just roast them plain.0 Helpful
did not have sun dried tomatoes so used trader joe's jarred bruschetta and my family devoured the potatoes before i had a chance to mix them with the pesto. still fantastic!0 Helpful
Too much flour for amount of liquid. Recipe needs to be re-evaluated.0 Helpful
This was amazing! Great for having for when guest come!0 Helpful
Leave the pesto off SO cauliflower.0 Helpful