This is what happens when a simple grilled cheese sandwich grows up and learns the art of self-expression. The deep, rich umami (savory) flavor of the roast tomato provide the perfect foil for the creamy, rich cheese and the surprising tangy sweetness of the balsamic syrup.
- 2 large beefsteak tomatoes cut into a total of 8, 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 8 slices Martin's sliced potato bread
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
- 16 large basil leaves
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- 8 teaspoons unsalted butter softened
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Course: Lunch
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Brush the tomato slices with the oil and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they are very soft and just hold their shape, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven.
- Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and sugar in a 1.5-quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10-12 minutes.
- Place 4 slices of the bread on a work surface. Top each with 2 ounces of the mozzarella. Place 2 tomato slices on top, then 4 basil leaves, followed by 2 slices of provolone cheese. Place the remaining slice of bread on each sandwich.
- Spread the outside of each sandwich with 2 teaspoons of the butter. Heat a large 12.5-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 sandwiches, cover the pan with a lid or large piece of aluminum foil. Cook until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. To serve, cut each sandwich in half diagonally and drizzle with balsamic syrup.