Frico-crusted Grilled Cheese with Arugula Pesto

By Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
April 3, 2016
0 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Author Notes: As if grilled cheese needed to be more indulgent, I borrowed a trick I first encountered in a salad to up the ante. Frico, little Parmesan tuile-like crisps, came atop an insalata tricolore of arugula, endive and radicchio I had as a light lunch out shopping with my mother. Here, I've crusted an Italian-inspired fontina and arugula pesto grilled cheese with it. Enjoy!Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus

Serves: 2

Arugula Walnut Pesto

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 cups arugula (packed)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of half the lemon
  • 1/3-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Place the garlic through lemon zest and juice in a food processor and pulse to a grainy homogenous consistency. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto takes on a creamy consistency and falls away from the sides of the processor bowl. Stir in the Parmesan by hand. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sandwich assembly

  • 4 1/2 inch thick slices of Pugliese or other Italian-style bread
  • 1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices fontina cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Arugula Walnut Pesto, plus more for dipping
  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place 1/3 cup of Parmesan in a thin layer, roughly the shape of your sandwich bread and let cook until melted, bubbly, and just starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Place a slice of bread atop the melted Parmesan, pressing down slightly, and build the grilled cheese in the skillet: place 2 slices of fontina atop the bread and spread with 1 tablespoon of pesto. Top with a 2nd slice of bread. Cook about an additional 3 minutes before turning out of the skillet (you need to melt more Parmesan before flipping to cook the other side of the sandwich). Repeat the Parmesan melting with another 1/3 cup of cheese in the skillet. Once slightly brown, place the sandwich back in the skillet to cook the other side atop the Parmesan, another 3 minutes or so. Weighing down the sandwich with a heavy cast iron skillet will promote even cooking, browning and melting, and is recommended if you have the equipment.
  3. If you have a large enough non-stick skillet, you can make 2 sandwiches at once. If not (like me), repeat the process to make a second sandwich while keeping the first warm on a baking sheet in a 200F oven. Enjoy!

More Great Recipes: