Friday, July 13, 2012

Pregnancy-Inspired Grilled Cheese

July is what eating locally and seasonally is all about. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by farmers' markets and stores with abundant vegetables, fruits, cheeses, breads, chocolates. I could go on, but there's a word limit so I will stop, but you need to go check it out. Union Square boasts two farmers' markets (Thursdays, 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) as well as the lovely Sherman Market, purveyor of all things local. Combine these with the bountiful CSAs available, and eating in season becomes easy and delicious. And that's just Union Square! Davis and Central (Cambridge) Squares have their own farmers' markets and stores with local goods. We are lucky people, over here in the 'Ville.

Today's meal was genuinely entirely local. While at the Swirl and Slice Thursday evening farmers' market this week, my very pregnant sister had a vision for grilled cheese with, wait for it, . . . mozzarella and goat cheese. And, as one who has been pregnant myself in the past, I recognized the tone of her voice and the look in her eye and didn't think twice and bought both (Fiore Di Nonno mozzarella and Crystal Brook Farm garlic and basil goat cheese). We had lovely tomatoes from Saturday's farmers' market (Kimball Fruit Farm), which had ripened in the window and, realizing we had forgotten basil, went out on a limb and used deep purple rainbow chard from Red Fire Farm's CSA, which was a delightfully hearty and tasty alternative. The pinnacle of our local yumminess was Dan's Brick Oven Bread (purchased at Sherman Market) which is the best whole wheat sourdough I've ever had. This grilled cheese was over-the-top good.

Grilled Cheese, serves 2 hungry people (multiply as needed)

4 slices Dan's Brick Oven Bread
1 medium tomato, cut into 6 slices
4 leaves rainbow or Swiss chard, washed and thick stems removed
1/4 lb. Fiore Di Nonno mozzarella, cut into 4 slices
2 TBSP Crystal Brook Farm garlic and basil goat cheese
2 TBSP butter, divided

1. Heat a large cast iron frying pan on low heat.

2. Lay two slices of bread on a cutting board. Place 3 tomato slices, 2 leaves of chard, and 2 slices of mozzarella on each. Spread 1 TBSP goat cheese on each of the remaining slices of bread and place, cheese down, on top of the mozzarella, completing the sandwich.

3. Put 1 TBSP butter in the bottom of the pan and spread around for an even coating. Place the sandwiches in the pan and let them grill for 4 to 5 minutes, checking to make sure they are not burning. When the bottom is nicely browned, flip the sandwiches over. Put the remaining TBSP butter in the pan and gently lift the sandwiches up to get the butter underneath. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes, checking to make sure they do not burn. When nicely browned, remove from the heat, cut the sandwiches in half, and eat!