Mini Grilled Cheeses

Mini grilled cheese sandwiches make a fun snack or appetizer. Topped with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, fresh mozzarella, and sautéed mushrooms. Vegetarian.

Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches // loveandlemons.com Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches // loveandlemons.com

I finally caved… here’s my contribution for this silly thing called National Grilled Cheese month. Grilled cheese is probably Jack’s favorite food, so it was pretty mean of me to keep this “holiday” a secret until this close to the end. Now that I spilled the beans, it’s likely we might see a special contribution from him before the end of April. (although maybe don’t hold your breath for it).

The ingredient list below seems really long, but it all comes together pretty quickly. Feel free to skip any of the components you don’t feel like making. And if you’re vegan, you can leave out the cheese entirely and just make a mushroom & pesto grilled sandwich.

I’ve been seeing a lot of variations of pesto lately using miso paste, so I was interested to try that out. I’m not sure I could actually taste it in there, so feel free to just use salt if you don’t have miso paste on hand. This pesto is half arugula because I’m waiting for my basil plant to fully come back to life, so I was short the 3 full cups of basil. Feel free to use all basil or another herb or leafy green you might have on hand.

mini grilled cheeses

 
Author:
Ingredients
for the sandwiches:
  • mini ciabatta rolls (slightly trim off the "roll" top), or another bread of your choice
  • fresh mozzarella slices (1 big slice per mini-sandwich)
  • a few sundried tomatoes, chopped
basil & arugula pesto:
  • 1.5 packed cups basil
  • 1.5 packed cups arugula
  • ⅓ c. toasted walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon miso (if you don't have miso, just use salt, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or agave)
  • pepper to taste
caramelized onions:
  • sliced yellow onion
  • splash of olive oil
  • splash of balsamic
  • splash of honey or agave
  • pinches of salt
balsamic mushrooms:
  • splash of olive oil
  • splash of balsamic
  • pinches of salt
Instructions
  1. for the pesto: In a food processor, blend all pesto ingredients together except the olive oil. After everything is combined, drizzle in olive oil while the food processor is running. Taste and adjust. If its bland, add some salt and pepper. If it's too tangy, add more honey or sweetener, if it's not tangy enough add more vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. For the caramelized onions: In a medium sized skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt and saute until translucent. Add balsamic and honey (or agave) and saute until they cook down and are brown and caramelized (about 4 more minutes). Set aside.
  3. For the balsamic mushrooms: In a separate medium sized skillet (or wipe out the one from the onions), heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a few pinches of salt and cook down for 5 minutes or so, careful to not burn them to the bottom of the pan. Add a splash of balsamic to deglaze. If mushrooms are sticking, add a little more oil, or a few splashes of water to loosen them up. Cook until they're browned and wilted down. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the sandwiches: I actually grilled these open faced - the side with the cheese longer (so the cheese could sufficiently melt), the side with the pesto, not as long (so the pesto wouldn't dry out or become bitter), and then put the 2 sides together, pressing down gently to get them to stick.

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A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.