This Luxe Grilled Cheese Is the Ultimate Sandwich Glow-Up

published Feb 9, 2022
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Grilled Cheese
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk
I Tried 4 Popular Grilled Cheese Recipes and the Winner Is Perfection

A good sandwich is hard to find. While that may sound like a trope, please know that I am entirely serious. Too often, sandwiches are either over-dressed, under-seasoned, uninspiring, or just sort of … meh. Please know, also, that every pleasure center in my brain lit up when I saw a recipe Reel on IG for Nadia Aidi’s tomato butter & pesto(ish) grilled cheese. I haven’t stopped thinking about it, and I think you’re going to want to know about it, too.

Aidi, who shares relatable, fun food inspo at her page @foodmymuse, posted the Reel earlier this month with a wow-worthy video *and* the full recipe in her caption. I love when content creators do that.

The sandwich starts with tomato butter, which couldn’t be simpler: Just mix tomato paste into room-temperature butter. (Psst: If you, like me, never seem to have room-temp butter when you need it, there’s a pretty nifty trick for softening it perfectly in the microwave.) After that, you’ll make the pesto-adjacent spread. Aidi took some creative liberties with the condiment — namely, leaving out the garlic and adding chives and lemon zest (her caption doesn’t note this, but the citrus she uses looks like a Meyer lemon).

Then it’s cheese time: She uses a wire cheese slicer to cut the mozzarella, explaining that this method creates a better cheese pull. You know, if a griddled sandwich doesn’t have a cheese pull, I’m not interested, so this was a top tip for me. Bread matters too, and while Aidi notes that you can use any loaf of your choosing, hers looks to be a soft white bread — a perfect pairing for tender, gooey cheese. Slather that tomato butter on one slice, layer in your pesto and cheese, and griddle. While the first side cooks, butter the other side and flip. Slice, admire your cheese pull, then dig in.

I love how this cheese combines two classic flavor combos: Grilled cheese and tomato soup. But that added twist — the pesto — is a breath of fresh summer air during the blah months of winter. Just in case you’re still on the fence about making this, definitely head over to the post and check out the comments, which are overwhelmingly positive (the people love the melty cheese). Frankly, it just may be the only place on the internet that everyone agrees.

How else would you use the tomato butter? I’m thinking pasta.