GRILLED CHEESE WITH MARINATED TOMATOES
Serves 2 to 4.
• 1/2 c. olive oil
• 1/4 c. sherry wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
• 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
• Pinch red pepper flakes, more to taste
• 1 tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced lengthwise
• 10 large basil leaves, very thinly sliced
• 2 tbsp. capers, drained and crushed
• 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
• 2 lb. very ripe large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-in.-thick slices
• 4 slices from a large country white loaf, sliced 1/2-in. thick
• 10 oz. sliced smoked cheese, preferably Comte, provolone or Gouda, divided
• 4 to 6 slices marinated tomatoes, drained of any excess liquid
• 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
To marinate tomatoes: In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, parsley, thyme, pepper flakes, salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir in the onion, basil, capers and garlic. Spread a little of the marinade on the bottom of a large baking dish. Top with a layer of tomatoes. Spread over a little more marinade, then another layer of tomatoes. Top with the remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. The marinated tomatoes will keep up to 2 days.
To prepare sandwich: Place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board. Divide half of the cheese slices evenly between the 2 slices, then top each slice with 2 to 3 slices of tomatoes. Top the tomatoes with the remaining cheese, then cover with the 2 slices of bread to form the 2 sandwiches.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and swirl in the pan until it is melted and starting to bubble. Place the sandwiches in the pan and grill until the bread is a rich golden brown and the cheese has started to melt. Carefully flip the sandwiches over, add the remaining butter and continue to grill until the other side is browned and toasted. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving of 4:
Calories 490 Fat 34 g Sodium 890 mg
Carbohydrates 24 g Saturated fat 20 g Calcium 650 mg
Protein 22 g Cholesterol 80 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch, 2½ high-fat meat, 3 fat.