Sunny says: In the mid-1980s, we took a family road trip to Denmark to see tulips and Legoland. For lunch, I ordered a grilled cheese and it wasn't Mom's, with white bread and American cheese. It was crusty, toasted brioche slices, and gooey mozzarella cheese, served with a squirt of ketchup on the side. It blew my mind! This is also great with my Fastest Chunky Tomato Cream Soup.
For the tomatoes
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cilantro mix
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Grated zest of 1 lime
For the sandwiches
8 slices stale white bread
6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
8 1-ounce slices pepper jack cheese
1. Season and roast the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast until they begin to darken and caramelize on the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool, then gently chop.
2. Make the cilantro mix. On a cutting board, pile the cilantro, onion, lime zest, and a pinch of salt, then chop vigorously until fine and well combined.
3. Assemble the sandwiches. Preheat a griddle over medium-high heat. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Place 4 slices on the griddle, buttered side down. Add a slice of cheese to each. Evenly sprinkle the cilantro-onion mixture and the tomatoes over the slices. Finish with another layer of cheese, then add the second piece of bread, buttered side up.
4. Grill the sandwiches. Check the bottom of the sandwich. If golden brown and the cheese is melting. Gently flip. Reduce the heat if the bread is toasting too fast and the cheese has yet to melt. Remove after the second flip when the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is fully melted, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 1 minute. Cut in half and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.
Recipe reprinted from Sunny's Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life, by Sunny Anderson. Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York. Available at amazon.com.
Originally published in the February 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine.