Fancy Grilled Cheese Recipe: A Fancy Farm Food

Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by TheFarmChicken

Fancy grilled cheese cut in half

We all know about the classic American grilled cheese sandwiches, the regular grilled cheese. Usually made with two slices of buttered white bread with American cheese in the middle. This is a spin off that American classic, a Fancy Grilled Cheese grilled made with Sourdough bread, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil (or pesto) and thinly sliced homegrown (or store-bought) tomato. An ultimate comfort food and in my opinion the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Maybe summer comfort food isn’t a thing, but I just made it one…classic comfort food but make it summer. I really enjoy this sandwich and always look forward to the tomatoes being ripe in the garden just so I can make them. Let’s take a deep dive into the components of this delicious Fancy Grilled Cheese Recipe: A Fancy Farm Food

The Type of Bread:

This is a great way to use your sourdough bread. You could use a store-bought sourdough but just know that most “sourdough” bread in the store is not the same as when you make it at home. You can check the ingredients but a lot of “sourdough” bread in the grocery store has various acids that are added to the bread to make it have a “sour” flavor.

If you don’t already have a sourdough starter and you want to learn I have just what you need: Learning Sourdough with Agnes. It takes a little bit of patience, but sourdough is so fun and is better for you!

I like to use either TheFarmChicken Sourdough bread for this or to make it extra fancy you can use a jalapeño cheddar sourdough bread (Recipe coming soon!) which makes a great addition to an already good sandwich. So yummy!

Either way sourdough bread is the best bread for this sandwich. You could use French bread or sandwich bread but it won’t be quite the same. I slice the sourdough bread slices about ¼ – ½ inch thick.

Butter or Mayo:

This is a great debate, mayo or butter on your grilled cheese. I personally use butter but have heard that people love mayo on grilled sandwiches.

You use the butter (or mayo) to spread just a thin layer of butter on the face-down side of the bread. The thin layer of butter is just what you need to make a beautiful exterior crust on your grilled sandwich. The other thing that plays a role in getting a beautiful exterior: the pan. We’ll talk more about that later.

The Tomato:

sliced tomato on a plate

We have the bread, it’s buttered, now let’s get the tomato ready. Now in my opinion thinly slicing the tomato is the best way to go. I like the flavor and the hint of sweetness it adds to the grilled cheese but I don’t want such a thick slice that it makes everything slide around and get soggy.

I will do about 3 thinly sliced tomato slices per grilled sandwich. This is a perfect way to use tomatoes that you have grown in your garden but tomato from the store works too. Or you could check and see if you have a local farmers market selling tomatoes. It’s a win, win supporting local and getting fresh produce!

The Mozzarella Cheese:

This can go a few different ways, but mozzarella is the best cheese for this grilled sandwich. We already buy a good thick shredded mozzarella and that is what we use for this fancy grilled cheese, and it works well. Someday, hopefully this winter, I would love to make my own mozzarella cheese. Otherwise, you could buy some fresh mozzarella from the store, and I am sure it would not disappoint.

The soft cheese melts so well. The melted cheese gives a gooey and slightly salty component to the sandwich.

Fresh Basil or Pesto:

This really brings so much flavor to this sandwich. The creamy mozzarella with basil is so good. You can either use fresh basil or you can buy or make a pesto; both are great options.

I like about 4-5 fresh, washed basil leaves on the sandwich. You can either chop them or just put them on whole, both will work just fine.

Cast Iron:

Don’t let the pan stop you but, if possible, you should use a cast iron pan to grill this fancy grilled cheese. The browning is so good and it makes the best sandwich when done with a cast iron pan.

Assembling the grilled cheese

Our favorite cast iron is Smithey brand and I will link it below(affiliate link). Smithey is American made; it is a small business that makes heirloom quality cast iron. A lifetime pan that will put a non-stick pan to shame. Ha! But really it is an up-front investment that can save you money in the long run if you aren’t buying a nonstick pan every 5 years because the Teflon chips and it needs to be replaced. Smithey pans are built to last.

A medium heat to medium-low heat is best to warm the sandwich thoroughly but also give it the best golden brown crispy exterior. Yum! Make sure to preheat the pan on the stove for around 5 minutes before grilling the first sandwich. If you have a high heat you are more likely to burn the bread before the cheese even gets melty.

I have even heard of people making grilled sandwiches in an air fryer. Interesting, but I don’t have an air fryer.

Steps to a Fancy Grilled Cheese:

  1. Slice bread
  2. Butter face down sides
  3. Slice tomato
  4. Wash basil leaves
  5. Assemble sandwich
    • Half of the cheese
    • Tomato Slices
    • Basil Leaves
    • Rest of the cheese
    • Slice of bread buttered side up
  6. Grilled on one side not flipping until golden.
  7. Flip and grill till golden brown
  8. Enjoy!

Serve it with:

  • A side salad
  • Bowl of Tomato soup or Tomato Basil Soup
  • Potato Chips and fruit
  • A farm fresh fried egg

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Fancy Grilled Cheese Recipe: A Fancy Farm Food

  • 2 slices of sourdough bread
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 2 T pesto, optional
  • ½ cup mozzarella
  • 1 T  butter, softened

First slice your bread about ¼ to 1/2 inch thick. Take two slices of bread and part of the tablespoon of butter on each side with a thin layer of butter.

Heat your cast iron pan to a medium heat to medium-low heat and then place the bread butter side down onto the pan. Layer on half the cheese for the sandwich the tomato and then basil. On top of that put another layer on cheese and the second piece of bread buttered side up.

Once the bottom is nice and golden brown(about 5 minutes) carefully flip the sandwich over to the second side. Let brown and cook for around 5 more minutes. Remove to a cutting board and cut in half with a sharp knife. Repeat as necessary for more people and enjoy!

This is one of my favorite recipes with homegrown tomatoes and it is easy to eat the entire sandwich by yourself. I hope you make it and it becomes one of your favorite recipes too! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this Recipe from the Farm: Fancy Grilled Cheese! Leave a comment or review below. I’d love to hear from you!

Mariah N. | TheFarmChicken

Fancy Grilled Cheese Recipe: A Fancy Farm Food

This Fancy Grilled Cheese is the perfect summer comfort food and a great way to use those tomatoes from your garden or farmers market! A grilled sandwich bursting with flavor from the tomato and basil. Gooey mozzarella and sourdough bread complete it.
Print Recipe
Fancy Grilled Cheese on the cutting board

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sourdough bread 1/4 – 1/2 inch in thickness
  • 1 tomato thinly sliced
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 2 T pesto optional or in place of basil
  • ½ cup mozzarella, shredded or sliced
  • 1 T butter softened

Instructions

  • First slice your bread about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Take two slices of bread and part of the tablespoon of butter on each side with a thin layer of butter.
  • Heat your cast iron pan to a medium heat to medium-low heat and then place the bread butter side down onto the pan. Layer on half the cheese for the sandwich the tomato and then basil. On top of that put another layer on cheese and the second piece of bread buttered side up.
  • Once the bottom is nice and golden brown(about 5 minutes) carefully flip the sandwich over to the second side. Let brown and cook for around 5 more minutes. Remove to a cutting board and cut in half with a sharp knife. Repeat as necessary for more people and enjoy!
Servings: 1 sandwich

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7 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing these great tips to make something simple and delicious using some fresh ingredients like tomatoes and basil from our gardens.

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