Creamy artichoke-arugula pesto and sharp cheddar melt together deliciously in this simple - but simply divine - grilled cheese sandwich. Add a little grilled chicken or cooked bacon to the meat-eaters' sandwiches, and everyone's happy!
For the artichoke arugula pesto:
3cupsabout 2 ounces baby arugula
1cupcanned artichoke hearts packed in waterdrained
2garlic clovescoarsely chopped
¼cupfreshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly grated zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
1/4cupextra virgin olive oil
For the sandwiches:
4slicesof a goodcrusty Artisan bread, about 1/2-inch thick
4ouncesthinly sliced sharp cheddar cheeseBeecher's Flagship is a favorite
3-4tablespoonsunsalted butterroom temperature
Make the pesto. In a food processor, pulse together the baby arugula, artichoke hearts, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan, zest, lemon juice, and salt until the texture resembles a very coarse meal. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture forms a saucy, spreadable pesto (you may need a little less or a little more olive oil).
Make the sandwiches. Butter the outsides of each slice of bread and lay buttered side down. Spread 2 tablespoons pesto on the inside of each slice. Lay cheese on two of the slices and cover each with the second slice of bread, pesto side down and buttered side up.
Heat an electric griddle or large frying pan over medium-low heat. Carefully transfer sandwiches to cooking surface and cook, pressing occasionally with the back of a spatula, until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side, pressing occasionally, until browned. Turn the sandwich back over and continue cooking, turning occasionally, until the cheese has completely melted, about 5 more minutes.