Let that thermometer drop a few three degrees and you’ll find me inside (with the air conditioning still on) in a sweater, with a cozy sandwich to match. Yes that is correct. The calendar reads fall and the forecast calls for Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
It’s not often (read: never) that I make myself an entire pan of lasagna. I know it’s certainly what Tron (read: my own personal Garfield) would like, but an entire pan of lasagna just feels like a daunting amount of leftovers. I can commit to a small skillet lasagna or lasagna turned into a ridiculously melty sandwich.
Sure, we can’t go wrong with buttery grilled bread with cheese, but we can turn the dial to 11 with herbed ricotta, mozzarella and roasted cherry tomatoes.
Have your sweaters out? At least maybe you’re thinking about them. Let’s sandwich!
Here’s what you’ll need for a Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
• Your favorite loaf of crusty bread, sliced thick.
• Cherry tomatoes, a swirl of olive oil, salt and pepper – roasted until burst.
• Grated mozzarella cheese.
• Ricotta cheese (I like whole milk ricotta because mmmmm), fresh basil, and a few zests of lemon.
• Butter to make the sandwich toasty golden delicious.
Start by roasting the cherry tomatoes with a few glugs of olive oil and a generous amount of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they’re burst and bubbling. Basically tomato candy.
While the tomatoes roast, stir together the ricotta layer. Mix together ricotta, fresh basil, salt and pepper. I like to add just a hint of lemon zest to brighten all the flavors.
Now let’s assemble the Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich!
Butter the outside of two slices of bread. Flip the slices over and top both sides with grated mozzarella cheese. On one side of the sandwich layer the ricotta cheese and top with tomatoes.
You know what to do. Sandwich and grill.
Grill until golden on each side.
If the cheese melts and sizzles over the side of the sandwich, that’s all part of the joy.
I mean come now. There’s no wrong way to do a grilled cheese sandwich but there certainly are more correct ways to make them. This lasagna version of grilled cheese is incredibly ooey gooey comforting. It’s a very simply luxury and you’re invited. And as long as we’re being fancy, see: French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich.Print
An ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich with roasted tomatoes and herbed ricotta.
For the Tomatoes:
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes, some halved
- A few glugs of olive oil
- Sea salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
For the Sandwich:
- 1/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil
- Sea salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- A zest of lemon rind (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- A few tablespoons butter, softened
- Good crusty bread, sliced
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with either foil or parchment paper. Dump tomatoes onto the lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes burst and sizzle, about 20-25 minutes.
- In a small bowl stir together ricotta, basil, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add a pinch of lemon zest if you have it on hand.
- Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of four slices of bread. With the butter sides down, divide the mozzarella cheese between the four slices. Spread two of the slices with ricotta cheese. Top the ricotta with a few spoonfuls of roasted tomato. Top with the other piece of bread.
- Grill the two sandwiches until golden brown and crisp on the outside, and melty on the inside.
- Remove from the skillet and allow to rest for just a few minutes before slicing in half and enjoying warm.
Keywords: grilled cheese, lasagna, roasted tomatoes, ricotta, basil, joy the baker
Photos with my friend Jon Melendez.