Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grilled Tomato, Arugula and Goat Cheese Sandwich

I am bad...yes, I know.  Apparently I am on an every 6 months posting schedule here.  It was my intention to get back into posting my recipes on a regular basis, but life has been busy, so what can I say?  Maybe someday I will have more than a few short minutes when dashing off a quick dinner before having to haul a kid to dance class or a friend's house or whatever.  I've come to the conclusion, since I have two teenagers in the house, that that won't be any time soon.  So, I'm letting   myself off the hook, giving myself permission to just do what I can do, post when I can post.

An entire season has come and gone since I last posted- summer officially ended yesterday, and today is the first day of fall.  That is apparent when I look outside, and see overcast skies, the wind in the trees, and the leaves beginning to color and fall.  But we're in that in-between stage, when summer isn't really gone yet- I can still go out and walk the dog without a sweater on, still need my sunglasses when I leave the house, and summer produce is still in abundance at the farmer's market.  Actually, the tomatoes are JUST now getting good- they didn't even appear at the markets until mid-August or so.  I have not always been a fan of tomatoes.  As a kid, they made me gag, literally, and I was made to eat them in salads daily.  As I grew up, I discovered that some tomatoes are better than others, namely, those that grow locally and are ripened on the vine.  There is no comparison between these tomatoes and their imported supermarket half-cousins.  I have come to a point in my life where I don't care to eat mediocre foods if I can help it. Therefore, I strive for those that are local, and in season.  Right now, tomatoes fit both of those categories, and I enjoy them while I can..  They are plentiful at the farmer's markets, produce stands, and the back yards of home gardeners.  Sadly, that is not me this year. I did not get my act together enough to get to the nursery in the spring to buy young plants to put in my back yard garden. That would require weeding first, which is such a job that I could not fit it into the schedule in the spring.  So, I have had to rely on markets, stands, and the odd donation from a gardening friend.  Recently, I lucked out- a friend from work had a plethora of tomatoes, and brought me a small bag.  I enjoyed a couple as slicers, raw with salt and pepper only, or broiled slightly with a bit of cheese on top.  Both are delicious ways to enjoy a fresh summer tomato.  But I had visions of a sandwich, and once conceived, I had to make it happen.  I was not disappointed, and you won't be either.  Trust me: MAKE THIS SANDWICH.  It is the essence of summer on a plate.

This time of year, basil is also plentiful, and if you have enough, you can make your own pesto from scratch.  I have yet to grow a basil plant that is not devoured by some unknown insect, so I buy my pesto already made at Costco.  It is very reasonably priced, and delicious, but if you have your own homemade, use that.  Goat cheese can also be found at Costco- I buy mine in two logs that come packaged together, also very reasonably priced.  I love Costco..except when I have to actually be there shopping, lol.

Grilled Tomato and Goat Cheese Sandwich

I am the only one in my house who will eat tomatoes.  Therefore, this recipe is for one sandwich.  Feel free to increase ingredients as needed to make more.


2 slices sourdough bread
2 tsp prepared pesto
1/8 cup soft goat cheese
1 small (racquet ball size) fresh ripe tomato, sliced
Several arugula leaves (or spinach, if you can't find arugula)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil cooking spray

1.  Spray skillet with a thick coat of olive oil cooking spray, and heat on medium-high heat.

2.  Spread each bread slice with 1 tsp of pesto.

3.  Microwave goat cheese for about 15-20 seconds to soften. When soft and spreadable, spread half onto each bread slice, over the pesto.

4.  On one bread slice, lay tomato slices in an even layer.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

5.  On the other bread slice, lay arugula/spinach evenly.

6.  Put sandwich together.  When pan is hot, lay in heated pan.  Grill until golden brown, then turn, adding more cooking spray if necessary.  Grill until golden brown on second side.