For most of us, grilled cheese sandwiches were a mealtime favorite, usually paired with creamy (and probably canned) tomato soup. A quintessential childhood meal, the sandwich always included toasted white bread and incredibly gooey slices of American. While it may not be as frequent a dinner anymore, it’s still hard to beat that hot cheese sandwich and punchy tomato soup. So why not replace the mystery cheese and make it a favorite again?
This grilled cheese sandwich recipe developed with Michelle McGlinn is melty, gooey and packed with flavor. It’s even home to a vegetable: broccoli rabe, a crunchy green turnip known for its spicy taste. Roasted with lemon, red pepper and olive oil, broccoli rabe becomes a flavorful green that complements rich white cheeses. The cheeses in question are creamy fontina and mozzarella, two soft white cheeses that melt easily and pair well with broccoli rabe. Think of it as a grilled cheese for adults, but don’t worry, it still pairs well with tomato soup (canned or not).
Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked From Worst to Best
Gather Ingredients for Grilled Cheese and Roasted Broccoli Rabe Sandwiches
First, you’ll need broccoli rabe, also known as rapini. From there, you’ll need olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, shallot, butter spread, mozzarella, fontina, and bread. crumb. Any sliced bread will do, but we love a crusty bread like sourdough to hold all that melty cheese.
Step 1: Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Step 2: Arrange the broccoli rabe
Spread the broccoli rabe on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Step 3: Toss with Oil and Seasoning
Drizzle broccoli rabe with 2 tablespoons oil, tossing to coat. Mix with salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon.
Step 4: Roast the broccoli rabe
Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until very tender.
Step 5: Finish with red pepper
Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
Step 6: Heat a pan
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Step 7: Fry the Shallot
Add the shallot slices and fry until crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Step 8: Butter the Bread
Butter the bread slices on one side.
Step 9: Layer of Cheese and Broccoli Rabe
On the plain side, layer the mozzarella, fontina and broccoli rabe.
Step 10: Garnish with Fried Shallot
Garnish with crispy shallot.
Step 11: Put the Sandwich on the Fire
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the sandwich, buttered side down.
Step 12: Grill Until Golden
Add the top piece of bread and press down. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, then turn.
Step 13: Flip and Grill the Other Side
Cook until the bottom is golden brown again, then remove from the heat.
What goes well with broccoli rabe grilled cheese?
Of course, the best thing to serve with grilled cheese is tomato soup; but this upgraded version also pairs well with more complex soups like ham and bean soup, roasted red pepper soup, and lasagna soup. The grilled cheese pairs perfectly with the soup, as the crusty toasted bread makes it perfect for soaking up the broth. So make sure you choose a soup with plenty of flavorful broth.
If it’s the hottest day of summer and the mere thought of soup makes you sweat, try a salad instead, which adds nutrients to an otherwise rich and heavy sandwich. Try a salad with a little crunch or go classic with a Caesar, chopped salad or Cobb. And if grilled cheese is enough for you as an appetizer, keep it simple and pair it with chips or roasted vegetables. Our suggestion? Use any extra broccoli rabe for a quick orzo and feta salad.
How to store and reheat this broccoli rabe grilled cheese?
Grilled cheese isn’t exactly our first thought when we think of good leftovers. Processed cheese tends to get a little gooey after cooling, so it’s best to serve grilled cheese fresh from the griddle. If you have any leftovers, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to bring them back to life. To reheat a broccoli rabe grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll want to melt the cheese without burning the bread. The best way to do this is to use a toaster oven, which can quickly cook the sandwich in the same way as an oven. If you don’t have a toaster oven, simply use your oven and cook until the cheese is melted again.
We do not recommend microwaving or grilling the cold sandwich unless you are willing to compromise on quality. Microwaving the sandwich will make the bread soggy, and toasting it in a pan may burn the already browned bread. Stick to oven heat to keep it looking like new.
Grilled Cheese and Roasted Broccoli Rabe Sandwich Recipe