There is nothing more comforting, warming, and delicious than the American classic lunch, oozy grilled cheese sandwiches, especially when served with a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Talk about an instant throwback to childhood! But what if we stepped it up a bit and got a little more creative? Oh yeah, it’s getting fun in here!
As much as I love plain grilled cheese sandwiches, I decided to add some Gourmet Garden Basil to the softened butter. The paste blends easily into the butter, making it simple to give the finished sandwiches a tantalizing perfume of herbs. Voila! Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwiches! And while we’re kicking things up, try adding some Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Basil to your ordinary tomato soup, enhancing the natural flavors of the tomatoes, making each bite something special.
Gourmet Garden offers us two different forms of basil to work with. Their paste (used in the butter) is suspended in a gel-like substance that helps it blend easily. Use it like you would dried herbs – it can stand up to heat and longer cooking times. Their Lightly Dried Basil is moist and fragrant, like freshly minced basil and can be used as a garnish or added toward the end of cooking for the most flavor. Both products are already prepped for you, saving you a step – and because there is no cutting involved, young children will love “helping” you make dinner!
Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect time to put a pot of soup on the stove and let people help themselves throughout the day, freeing you up from kitchen duty. Tomato soup is the classic accompaniment to the sandwiches, but add some Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Basil and your bowl of soup becomes something special. You can stir some paste in while it is heating and then garnish the top of each bowl with a pinch of the Lightly Dried for a one-two punch of flavor.
Having the makings for grilled cheese sandwiches assembled and ready to go speeds up your time at the stove and gives you the opportunity to teach the younger folks in your family all your secrets to creating amazing meals. You can also arrange the ingredients on a platter, cover it with plastic wrap, and let everyone make their own. That definitely makes your job as hostess easier, LOL.
These sandwiches are truly a revelation and everything I was hoping they would be. Rich, ooey and gooey melting cheese, the satisfying crunch of the bread, and the redolence of Italian foods with the aroma of fresh basil. Pure simplicity taken up a notch.
But this can also be just the beginning … Try adding caramelized onions, sliced tomatoes, use a blend of cheeses, add some sliced ham, Canadian bacon, or crumbled cooked bacon – the options are nearly endless and only limited by your imagination.
Here in San Francisco the energy is electric! We will have highs in the mid-70s making this one of the warmest games in recent history. Thank goodness the El Nino rains are on hold this week. There are private planes with celebrities flying in, blimps giving tours overhead, and in Super Bowl City the stages rocking with top acts and the Puppy Bowl puppies are playing together in a sunny miniature football field, getting adopted to new forever homes. We are showing the world how beautiful the Bay Area is and just wait till you see all the technology being used for the game. This is a whole new ball game.
Have a fun weekend and enjoy all the Super Bowl festivities!
Use the best gluten-free bread you can find or make your own. A light toasting before making the sandwiches will dry out the bread slices and help reduce the chances of any gumminess. All Gourmet Garden products are gluten-free making them safe for everyone.
If you do not normally serve gluten-free foods, make sure all your kitchen surfaces, equipment, and utensils have been thoroughly washed. Do not use wooden or plastic because gluten can hide in minute crevices. Non-permeable surfaces are the safest and most easily cleaned.
If you are making both regular and gluten-free sandwiches, keep the ingredients completely separated and use two different pans to cook the sandwiches. Be sure no one uses the same spreader or knife on gluten breads because even a few crumbs can make people with Celiac very sick. It doesn’t have to be scary, but preparation and awareness will guarantee the safety of your guests and make it simpler to keep everyone healthy.
- Tomato soup
- Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Basil, to taste
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 2 to 3 tsp Gourmet Garden Basil Stir-In Paste
- 4 slices sandwich bread (use gluten-free if needed)
- 2 to 4 slices cheddar cheese, gruyere, Swiss, muenster or other favorite flavor
- Heat the tomato soup over medium heat. If desired, stir 1 to 2 tsp of the Lightly Dried basil into the soup as it heats. Keep warm on medium-low while you cook the sandwiches.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and Gourmet Garden Basil. Use a fork to mix them together.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, turn to medium-low until ready to cook.
- Spread the butter on one side of each piece of bread. Lay two pieces, buttered-side down, in the hot pan or on the griddle. Top each with 1 or 2 slices of cheese (you can create your own combination of cheese if you prefer). Set another slice of bread on the cheese, buttered side up.
- Cook the sandwiches until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. If you get the pan too hot, the basil butter will tend to burn instead of becoming golden brown. Flip the sandwiches over to cook the second side, another 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately with a steaming bowl of tomato soup.
- Yield: 2 sandwiches
Other Gourmet Garden Recipes on The Heritage Cook!
Gourmet Garden recipes from other talented bloggers!
Tuscan Chicken from Erin of Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Herb Crusted Rib Roast from Nicole of Or Whatever You Do
Garlicky Roasted Cabbage Steaks from Susan of The Wimpy Vegetarian
Southwestern Cilantro Mac and Cheese from Sarah of The Pajama Chef
Create a New Tradition Today!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden. Thank you for supporting my partnerships with brands that I love to work with and whose products I use regularly. As always, all opinions are my own.
Let’s connect! If you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, need to alter a recipe for gluten-free, or want recipe suggestions, don’t hesitate to email me. Welcome to The Heritage Cook Family!
Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material from The Heritage Cook without prior approval is prohibited. This includes copying and reprinting content and photographs. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted here. Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and send people to my website. The suggestions here are not intended as dietary advice or as a substitute for consulting a dietician, physician, or other medical professional. It is the reader’s sole responsibility to determine which foods are appropriate and safe for their family to consume. The author makes no claims regarding the presence of food allergens and disclaims all liability in connection with the use of this site. Please see the Disclaimers page for additional details.