The nights sure have been long and cold this winter season, and most days have been, too! When the temperatures are bone-chilling, it can be tough to think about eating anything else other than a hot bowl of soup for every meal. We’ve been trying to turn some of our favorite things to eat, like salads, into hot creations that maintain some of the health benefits of the original dishes while warming us up on cold winter nights. John recently created an awesome sandwich inspired by one of our favorite salads and – added bonus – it’s a grilled cheese! He has dubbed it the Caprese Grilled Cheesy.

John prepping a Caprese Grilled Cheesy

FUN FACT: This isn’t John’s first hand-modeling gig. Once upon a time, John was an Account Executive for the KitchenAid Portables account and while on a photo shoot one fine day, they needed a hand model. Check out John’s skills on slider #4 on KitchenAid.com.

This grilled cheese is so quick and easy to make! There are a couple ingredients that are key in executing a perfect Caprese Grilled Cheesy. Check them out:
Caprese Grilled Cheesy ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

– Pepperidge Farm Very Thin sliced bread
John lovingly refers to this as “Grammie Bread,” as his Grandma DeCamp loved enjoying her sandwiches on this ultra-thin bread. It’s perfect for those who really want to taste what’s on their sandwich and grills up so nicely.
25-Year Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar from Williams-Sonoma. It’s divine and will make your mouth pucker in the best way!
– BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella All-Natural Cheese
– Fresh basil
– Fresh tomatoes
– Unsalted butter (the REAL stuff)
– Sea salt
*All ingredients can be found at Meijer expect for this balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

– Thinly-slice your fresh mozzarella and tomatoes
– Tear your basil leaves into tiny pieces
– Heat your frying pan on the stove on low heat
– Lightly butter what will be the outsides of your pieces of bread
– Place one side of each sandwich’s bread into frying pan, butter-side down
– Build your sandwich starting with a few slices of mozzarella, then tomato slices, then basil pieces, then a couple more slices of mozzarella
– Sprinkle just a pinch of sea salt on top
– Place the additional side of each sandwich’s bread on top, butter-side up
– Increase the heat, cover and cook until cheese is melted and bread is browned and crisp, flipping sandwiches as needed. It doesn’t take long too cook these with the Very Thin Grammie Bread!

CapreseGrilledCheesy3

Remove the sandwiches from heat and let rest for a few seconds, then slice into four quarters or “sticks” (slice vertically all the way across) – this makes for easy dipping.
Pour a little balsamic vinegar into a low dipping-friendly bowl and dip sandwich slices before each bite.
*We tested a version with balsamic vinegar ON the sandwich – it wasn’t terrible but resulted in unpleasant sogginess. Plus dipping is more fun! 

Caprese Grilled Cheesy has become our new favorite recipe – a little taste of summer freshness wrapped up in winter-friendly warmth!

Do you have a favorite recipe that you’ve modified for the winter season to warm you up on cold nights? We’d love to hear about it!