- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 55 minutes
- Serves 4
There’s nothing that epitomizes summer quite like juicy, peak-season tomatoes, and although there are countless ways to enjoy them, I’m partial to layering them between melty cheese and salty bacon—think grilled cheese colliding with a BLT. In this best-of-both-worlds recipe, ripe campari tomatoes are roasted in the oven until softened and slightly reduced, then stacked on sourdough bread with crispy bacon and a winning combo of three of the four cheeses in BelGioioso’s Italian Cheeseboard. Toasted on the stovetop for a few minutes, the melts emerge cheesy and golden, making for a ‘gram-worthy handheld treat.
I incorporate BelGioioso Fontina, Asiago, and Provolone cheeses for the melts—a medley that adds rich, savory depth to each bite—but you can mix and match the sliced cheeses from the Italian Cheeseboard based on personal preference. Whatever cheeses you choose, you’ll find that the sandwiches are surprisingly balanced, thanks to a swipe of Dijon mustard, the garlic-flecked crust, and jammy, sweet-tart tomato slices that complement the saltiness of the bacon. To finish, BelGioioso Mascarpone smeared on the outside of the bread helps the melts crisp up to toasty perfection (you can also substitute mayonnaise). Best of all, the recipe comes together fairly quickly: While the tomatoes are roasting in the oven, cook the bacon in a skillet, mix the garlic spread, and prepare the bread for assembly, then toast the sandwiches two at a time using the same skillet. With the remaining summer days numbered, we could all use less time in the kitchen and more time dining outdoors. —Joy Cho
Test Kitchen Notes
1 1/4 pounds
campari tomatoes, sliced ½-inch thick
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
slices bacon (any variety works)
BelGioioso Mascarpone, divided (you can also use mayonnaise)
garlic cloves, minced
slices country-style or sourdough bread
Dijon mustard, divided
slices BelGioioso Fontina Cheese
slices BelGioioso Asiago Cheese
slices BelGioioso Provolone Cheese
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil and drizzle half the olive oil on the foil. Lay the tomato slices in a single layer on the pan, then drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are softened, cooked through, and look slightly reduced.
- While the tomatoes are in the oven, cook the bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, flipping with tongs as necessary, until crispy (or to your liking). Transfer the bacon strips to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool, then wipe out the skillet before fat is completely hardened.
- Mix the mascarpone and minced garlic in a small bowl until combined. Lightly spread the mascarpone mixture on one side of the 8 slices of bread (about 1/2 tablespoon per slice), then flip the bread over so that the sides without mascarpone are facing up (place the prepared slices on a parchment-lined sheet pan for ease).
- Assemble the melts: Spread ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard on a slice of bread, then place a slice of fontina and asiago cheese on top. Top the cheese with a few roasted tomato slices, followed by 2 strips of bacon, a slice of provolone, and the other slice of bread (the sides with the mascarpone should now be facing outwards). Repeat the assembly process with the 3 other sandwiches.
- Heat the same skillet you used for the bacon over medium-low. When the pan is warmed, cook the sandwiches (depending on the size of your skillet, you may be able to cook 2 melts at a time) until the bread is golden and toasted and the cheeses are melted through, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side (you can gently press the melts down with a spatula during cooking as needed). Slice the melts in half and serve immediately.