AVOCADO GRILLED CHEESE
This Avocado Grilled Cheese is an important reminder that, no matter how hectic life becomes, we can still feed ourselves a decent meal.
The next time you are tempted to devour a bag of tortilla chips over your kitchen sink and call it dinner, take a deep breath, pour yourself a glass of wine, and place your hopes in one of the greatest culinary inventions of our time: the grilled cheese.
At its core, grilled cheese is one of the fastest, simplest dinners you can make, but with a few simple twists, it can be gourmet. As a food blogger, I’m often asked what I make for dinner on an average Tuesday night, and the truth is that, more often than not, it’s what I like to call grown-up grilled cheese. The basics are there—the buttery bread, the gooey cheese—but with few simple swaps and flavor additions, this humble sandwich of our childhood is transformed into a satisfying meal I’ll happily eat well into my old age.
Today’s version of grown-up grilled cheese features two of my all-time favorite ingredients: avocado and goat cheese. Both are mild and creamy, and the goat cheese’s light tang is a perfect counterpoint to the buttery richness of the avocado.
Since avocado and goat cheese are so mild, I pumped up the flavor profile of each one. To the avocado, I added salt, pepper, and a whopping hit of garlic—you might not want to serve this sandwich on a first date. To the goat cheese, I added a trio of chopped fresh basil, parsley, and green onion, which brightens the sandwich and gives it a lively flavor. For good measure and a little extra green, I also snuck in a small handful of spinach between the bread.
Once the sandwich is assembled and the exterior bread buttered, all that remains to do is grill. I used the handy dandy lid of my KitchenAid® 6-Quart Cast Iron Cookware. The dish itself is an incredibly versatile piece of cookware, but one of my favorite parts about it is the multipurpose lid. When flipped over, the lid doubles as a cast-iron skillet, perfect for stovetop grilling.
Of the dozens of iterations of grown-up grilled cheese I’ve made, this avocado version is my favorite. The hot toasty bread combined with the creamy, garlicky avocado interior is a delight on any night of the week.
AVOCADO GRILLED CHEESEMakes 2 sandwiches
4 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons softened butter, plus additional 2 tablespoons for cooking the sandwiches
1 large avocado, lightly mashed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces softened goat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
Spread one side of each bread slice with butter, ensuring you reach all the way to the edges. Set aside.
Lightly mash the avocado with the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the goat cheese and herbs.
For each sandwich, layer 1 bread slice (butter-side down), 1/4 of the goat cheese mixture, 1/2 of the avocado mixture, 1/2 of the spinach, another 1/4 of the goat cheese, then top with the remaining bread slice, butter-side up. Repeat for the second sandwich.
To cook the sandwiches, melt 1-2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium low. Place the sandwiches on top, then cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side until the bread is golden, checking often to see that the bread is cooking nicely and doesn’t burn. Flip the sandwiches to the other side and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the bread is toasted and the centers are hot. Let cool slightly and enjoy immediately.