So with the days getting a little chilly of late, our favourite little internal munchy monsters are emerging for the winter, whispering in our ears our sudden desires for all foods comforting, hearty, cheesy, steamy and all round naughty.
My munchy monster happens to be in overdrive . . . A result of this is my outstanding ability to produce the most amazing and heart stopping toasted sandwiches.
I think it’s safe to say that all the weight I have dropped lately is at high risk of returning in the form of buttered and pan fried sandwiches of sin.
Having a vegetarian bestie can at times leave you stumped for naughty snack options. (As we all know, vegetables are heavenly and require a good old dousing in a bucket of cheese or saucy goodness to be turned into something deliciously evil).
The old ‘cheese & tomato’ toasted can get a little boring after a while, so to keep things a little interesting . . .
White Pizza Grilled Cheese
YIELD: MAKES 4 SANDWICHES
TOTAL TIME: 1.5 HOURS
2 bulbs garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pinch of salt
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup freshly chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons freshly chopped oregano leaves
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
8 ounces sharp provolone cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
8 thick slices Italian or sourdough bread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice off the top of the bulb of garlic and remove any of the outside paper from the bulb. Drizzle the exposed cloves with olive oil. Wrap the bulb in foil and roast for 1 hour, until the cloves are golden and caramely. Let the garlic cool slightly.
Squeeze the cloves out in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Mash the cloves with a fork until they form a paste. Add the mascarpone to the bowl and stir to combine. Add in the basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley, stirring to combine.
Toss together the provolone, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spread the outsides of the bread with softened butter. Spread the insides of the bread with the mascarpone cheese mixture. Place a slice of bread butter-side down in the skillet and add a few handfuls of cheese on top. Follow it with another slide of bread, butter-side up. Cook until the cheese is melty and each side is golden, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve the sandwiches with a garnish of extra chopped herbs.