Fontina and Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese with Tomato Jam

We’re a whole-wheat bread kind of family. We rarely use white bread when making sandwiches, buttttttt we make exceptions when having grilled cheese. Because let’s be real, grilled cheese is always best on a crusty white bread. Speaking of grilled cheese, today is National Grilled Cheese Day! I love that there’s a day dedicated to this fabulous food.

Growing up, there was only one type of grilled cheese: American cheese sandwiched between two slices of white bread. Super simple, never complicated and one of my favorite lunches of all time. Nowadays, it seems there are a million different types of grilled cheese sandwiches, and I’m happy to say life has never been more exciting. I just love that it’s now hip to order a grilled cheese at a restaurant (unless it’s off the kids menu) because you’re likely to try a very different sandwich than the one you grew up devouring.

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Knowing that National Grilled Cheese Day was coming up, I seized the opportunity to think about my dream grilled cheese – a herculean task because I love all the cheese. I had a lot of factors to think through…  Which one of my favorite cheeses would melt right? What combinations taste great together? What could I add to balance the cheese I chose?

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That’s when I saw it (my dream grilled cheese floating through the air). It had fontina, one of the creamiest Italian cheeses ever that melts beautifully. To balance the fontina, some tangy, crumbly goat cheese. And to top it all off, it was spread with a tomato jam, adding a sweet, spicy flavor to the which.

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To stop my mouth from watering and to get moving on this dream of mine, I ran to the store to grab some bread, cheese and tomatoes. The rest is history.

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If you end up celebrating #nationalgrilledcheeseday and find inspiration from this post, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!

Fontina and Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese with Tomato Jam

Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of crusty farm white bread (pick up from the bakery of your grocery store)
  • 4 oz of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 cups of fontina cheese, shredded
  • Tomato jam (see recipe below)
  • Olive oil
  • salt

Tomato Jam Ingredients (recipe adapted from NYT cooking)

  • 4 roma tomatoes, core removed and coarsely diced
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Directions

Start making the tomato jam a few hours prior to assembling sandwiches. Place all of the ingredients above in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently until the mixture starts to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about an hour, until the mixture thickens. Stir occasionally. Place in the fridge to cool when complete.

Turn on panini press or place a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.

Add a 1/2 cup and a few pinches of salt to a small bowl. Brush the outsides of the slices of bread with the olive oil.

Spread about two tablespoons of tomato jam to one of the inside slices of bread. On the other side, add a thin layer of crumbled goat cheese (a couple of tablespoons) and a little less than 1/2 cup of fontina. Press the slices together and heat on the panini press or frying pan until golden brown. Flip to ensure both sides are golden and cheese is melted.

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