Remember that awesome spiced crunchy balsamic beet pickle I made a few weeks ago? Like I promised, there’s more where that came from. And this time it takes the form of a Pickled Beet and Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich!
I’ve always been telling Mr K, that I wouldn’t mind living on a diet of just cheese, chocolate and freshly baked bread for the rest of my life! While I haven’t come across any studies that have explored the pros and cons of a diet like that, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s probably not the best. I loved cheese even as a kid, even though all I had was processed cheese. It was easier to find, cheaper to buy and made pretty darn good sandwiches for an 8 year old. As I grew older though, my taste in cheese became a little more “worldly.” Although admittedly, one of my long-standing guilty pleasures in life is still a thick block of Kraft cheese!
I grew up on cheesy toast. It was something we enjoyed on weekends, topped with some spicy green pepper. And pretty soon I made that short leap (or side step?) to grilled cheese sandwiches and I fell in love even more. While I have presented this as a grilled cheese here, it works just as well as an open-faced grilled cheese toast as well.
This is a truly phenomenal sandwich! Really. Even if you’re not a “beet person,” you have got to try this because the pickled beet makes a huge difference. Go ahead and check out my post on the crunchy balsamic beet pickle here if you’d like, so you know about all those bold and amazing flavours trapped inside the beet pickle. If you like pickles in your sandwich, then you will love this! What takes this sandwich to a whole new level though, are the slices of bread that are slathered with basil parsley butter!
- 1 recipe of crunchy balsamic pickled beet
- 6- 8 slices of bread (regular-sized bread, more if smaller) please see note
- ¼ of a large red onion sliced thinly
- 8 oz of grated cheese (I used a combination of pepper jack, provolone and white cheddar)
- 3 oz of goat cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Jalapeno (de-seeded and sliced - optional)
- Basil and parsley butter
- 1 stick (4 oz/ 115g) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tbsp minced basil
- 2 tbsp minced parsley
- Mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated. Add salt to taste. You can leave it at room temperature so that it remains spreadable, or freeze it if you would like to use it later.
- Generously spread the basil butter on the outside and inside of each slice of bread.
- Layer a little of the sliced red onions, then the drained beet pickle (about 2-3 tbsp on each sandwich or however much you prefer) on half the number of bread slices you have.
- Add about 1 - 1.25 oz of shredded cheese to the same bread slices, and crumble some goat cheese on top. Next add the chilli slices, if you prefer (seeded or de-seeded). You can add some chopped parsley too if you like, but that's not necessary).
- Place the second slice of bread on top.
- Preheat your nonstick pan or grill pan to medium and brush it with some oil to prevent sticking. When the pan is hot, place the sandwiches on it and grill for about 3 minutes per side (until the side is golden brown and the cheese is melting).
- Alternatively you can press your sandwich in a panini press.
- Cut the sandwich in half and serve as is or with a side salad while still warm.
The amounts in the recipe are only a guide. If you would like less butter and cheese, you can adjust them to your liking.
I’m not sure you could see it well enough in the pictures, but that basil parsley butter actually melts and infuses the bread with that amazing basil flavour! So you got the soft cheesy center with the tangy, vinegary pickled beet, paired with creamy and tangy goat cheese and the lingering freshness of basil in the beet and the butter infused bread. And what’s the best part of grilled cheese? That stretchy cheesy goodness of course!
And that my friends, is how you take something as amazing as a grilled cheese sandwich and make it even better! So what’s your favourite grilled cheese sandwich combo?
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