I've never been a huge grilled cheese fan, I find it to be too plain. I love sandwiches with a variety of flavors to balance each other out. A few years ago, it seemed like grilled cheese was becoming trendy, and I saw many varieties with tomato and bacon added. It sounded good, if you're a bacon eater, but I am not. I came across this recipe on the Cooking Light website, and it seemed like the perfect vegetarian take on the bacon and tomato version. The olive tapenade adds a delicious salty flavor, the gruyere is sharp and nutty, the fresh tomato adds acidity and texture, and the sun dried tomatoes add a sweetness that balances all of the other ingredients. We enjoyed this sandwich with soup for lunch, though it would also make a fantastic easy dinner.
Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches
slightly adapted from Cooking Light, makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices of thick, multigrain bread
2 oz. shaved Gruyere cheese
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
12 kalamata olives (I used 6 kalamata and 6 jumbo green olives)
6 sun dried tomato halves
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. butter or nonstick cooking spray
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat
Finely chop olives and sun dried tomatoes, add to a small dish, grate in garlic clove, toss to combine.
Divide olive mixture in half between two pieces of bread, place in the skillet.
Top olive mixture with Gruyere cheese, then place 2 slices of tomato on each piece of bread.
Top each sandwich with a second slice of bread, then place a cover on the pan.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, until bread is toasted and slightly brown, gently flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side, until toasted.
Remove from the pan, slice in half and serve.