Please, walk away right now if you don’t like cheese. Seriously, if you’re a hater of melty, gooey goodness, you best leave. Stop reading, hit that little X in the upper right hand corner.
Still with me? Yeah, I thought so. I’m still here too. Sigh … what can I say. Beautiful cheese … it’s a weakness. A glorious weakness.
Today I’ve got something super, duper cheesy. Ridiculously cheesy. Almost too cheesy. And garlicky and herby, too. It’s a grilled cheese sandwich modeled after white pizza. White Pizza Grilled Cheese.
Surely you’ve heard of – and enjoyed – classic white pizza? We’ve got garlic. We’ve got olive oil. We’ve got mozzarella. Maybe some Parmesan, maybe some ricotta, definitely a few herbs like basil or oregano. Slapped on a perfect pizza crust, baked into pure excellence. Simple, straightforward food at its finest.
So, you know, I thought I’d take something perfect and bastardize it a little bit. If I’m breaking any cardinal rules of food, well … I don’t really care, because I’ve discovered a really, really delicious new form of grilled cheese sandwich.
First, you mix whole-milk ricotta cheese with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh basil and oregano, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper. Then you let it marinate for a good long while to let the flavors really develop. Then you spread it on both pieces of bread, and place a thin layer of mozzarella cheese in the middle, and maybe some Parmesan if you’re so inclined.
Rub the outside with a little more garlic, and butter generously.
Then toast until the outside is a perfect, crisp golden brown and the inside …
The inside …
Sorry, I’m a little speechless.
Just … you know. Cheese.
- ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 8 slices white bread (6 slices if your bread is on the larger side)
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved (for rubbing on the outsides of the bread)
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 24 hours) to allow the flavors to develop.
- Lay down the bread slices and, using a butter knife, spread the ricotta mixture evenly on each piece. The ricotta mixture should coat the insides of both pieces of bread. Note: If you’re using large pieces of bread, you may want to make more of the ricotta mixture, or only make two or three sandwiches instead of four).
- Lay the mozzarella slices evenly on every other piece of bread (one side of each sandwich). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and close the sandwiches by place both cheesy insides together.
- Rub the outsides of the sandwiches with the cut side of the garlic clove, then butter both sides generously.
- In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, cook the sandwiches, flipping often, until they’re golden-brown on the outside and the cheese is melted inside, about 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately.