Making grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner pretty much means you’ve given up, right?
Not so fast. Chef Eric Greenspan (founder of the James Beard Foundation–acclaimed restaurant The Foundry on Melrose) has a new cookbook—The Great Grilled Cheese Book: Grown-Up Recipes for a Childhood Classic—that proves the classic sammy can be sophisticated AF.
In fact, when describing these grilled goat cheese sandwiches with balsamic beets, Greenspan said: “It seems like nearly every restaurant in America has a salad of goat cheese and beets, so I figured why not combine them in a sandwich? The seeds in the rye bread bring a great nuttiness and crunch that add even more texture to an already textured dish.” Amen.
Balsamic Beet Puree and Roasted Golden Beets
1 red beet
1 bunch baby golden beets, with tops
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
8 slices rye bread
12 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 Chioggia beet, peeled and thinly sliced (8 slices)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, for finishing
1. MAKE THE BALSAMIC BEET PUREE AND ROASTED GOLDEN BEETS: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the red beet in aluminum foil and place it on a baking sheet.
2. Slice the green tops off the golden beets and set aside. In a bowl, toss the golden beets with 2 tablespoons of the oil and then spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet.
3. Roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 60 minutes. While the beets are still hot, rub them with a paper towel to peel away the skin. The golden beets will finish cooking before the red beet.
4. Cut the red beet into large dice, let cool and then transfer to a blender. Add the balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup of the oil; process until smooth.
5. Cut the golden beets into quarters through the stem end and transfer to a bowl. In a sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the beet greens and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the greens to the bowl with the beets and toss until well mixed. Let cool.
6. MAKE THE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES: Line up half of the bread slices on a work surface. Spread 1 tablespoon of the balsamic beet puree onto each slice, top with a quarter of the cheese and a quarter of the golden beets and greens, and finish with 2 Chioggia beet slices. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.
7. Line a large platter with paper towels. In a skillet over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Reduce the heat to low, add a sandwich and cook, turning once, until the bread is browned and crisp on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared platter to blot the excess grease. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches.