We’ve got nothing against regular grilled cheese, but this asparagus and cheese sandwich elevates the childhood classic to a grown-up, crave-worthy meal. After trying this version made with roasted asparagus, mozzarella, Gruyère, and a healthy dollop of Romesco sauce, you’ll wonder why you haven’t always stuffed vegetables into your grilled cheese sandwiches.
Adapted from Holly Erickson and Natalie Mortimer | The Modern Proper | Simon Element, 2022
Low and slow is the name of our grilled cheese game. Whatever you do, don’t try to rush yours. It cannot be done without compromising the perfectly golden crunch of this toasty meal. Much like the use of Gruyère and fancy bread, the addition of asparagus is because we’re grown-ups now, and dare we say it improves the gooey goodness of a cheese sandwich by adding a little more interest and a hint of vegetable bite that cuts through all that dairy fat. Nutty and smoky, with a nice acidic bite, Romesco sauce is likewise a perfect foil for all of the richness at play here. We suggest serving the extra sauce alongside the sandwich for dipping.–Holly Erickson and Natalie Mortimer
Asparagus and Cheese Sandwich FAQs
Although it’s quick and easy to just bend and snap the asparagus, you could be wasting valuable produce by using this method. To make the most of your asparagus, use a knife to trim the stalk just where the color changes from whitish to green. This will take off only the woody ends.
Yes. Any good melting cheese will work well here, such as Cheddar or Monterey Jack.
Asparagus and Cheese Sandwich
Asparagus in your grilled cheese sandwich? One bite of this grown-up combination of roasted asparagus, mozzarella, Gruyère, and Romesco sauce, and your answer will be a resounding ‘yes!’
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the center position.
On a rimmed baking sheet, combine the asparagus, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine, then spread out the asparagus in a single layer. Bake until tender and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and butter. Spread the mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the Romesco on the other side of each of 4 pieces of the bread, then layer on the Gruyère, asparagus, and mozzarella, dividing evenly between the four slices of bread. Finish the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread, buttered side facing out.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over low heat. Add two sandwiches at a time and cook, watching closely, until golden brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Flip and toast on the other side. Repeat with the remaining two sandwiches.
Transfer the sandwiches to plates and serve with the remaining Romesco alongside for dipping.
Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 730kcal (37%)Carbohydrates: 31g (10%)Protein: 26g (52%)Fat: 56g (86%)Saturated Fat: 24g (150%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 112mg (37%)Sodium: 1290mg (56%)Potassium: 222mg (6%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 1503IU (30%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 540mg (54%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
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Originally published May 16, 2022
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