Day three of the Twelve Days of Grilled Cheese continues the pesto-on-grilled cheese trend. (Trust me, it’s a thing. You’ll see.)
I present to you The Grilled Queso.
It’s easy and breezy. It’s just a layer of cilantro pesto, quickly whipped up in about 5 minutes. You add a layer of cheese (…obviously), a thin smear of finely chopped chipotle in adobo (if you’re feeling spicy), and what dish of such proportions wouldn’t love a few slices of creamy avocado? Exactly.
The Grilled Queso
For the Cilantro Pesto (makes a little over a cup, leftover can be frozen for future use):
- 1 cup of cilantro, including stems if you like (I do)
- 1 green onion
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or walnuts or basically any other crunchy thing
- half a lemon
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt to taste
For the rest, to make one sandwich:
- 2 slices of bread
- a couple tablespoons of cilantro pesto (recipe instructions below)
- 1/2 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- cheese – I used Manchego, although I had visions of Queso Fresco and/or Cotija
1. Make pesto: Roughly chop cilantro and green onion, place in bowl. Toast pumpkin seeds until they begin to pop, then roughly chop and place in same bowl. Add a few glugs of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, and some salt. Taste and adjust to desired salty-ness and oily consistency.
2. Assemble sandwich: Divide finely chopped chipotle and spread on each half of bread. Top one slice with layer of pesto. Top other slice with cheese, then avocado.
3. Heat pan over medium low and melt a little butter and olive oil. Same technique as before: Briefly dip the un-pesto-ed side in the oil and butter, then place the slice, pesto side down, on top of sandwich. Place sandwich in pan, put lid of a pan on top, and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip, cover, cook for about 3 minutes more. Then EAT!