It's National Grilled Cheese Month, and I was invited to participate in Kitchen Play's 30 Days of Grilled Cheese, an event sponsored by Land O’Lakes. The way the event works is that each day throughout the month a different blogger posts a grilled cheese sandwich made with Land O Lakes® Deli American Cheese or 4 Cheese Italian Blend, and today happens to be my day!
Grilled cheese sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food -- and who doesn't love them? They can be as simple or as complex as you want, and you can pair them with anything from a warming soup to a balancing salad. When I was a kid, nothing beat Land O Lakes® Deli American Cheese in between two generously buttered slices of Wonder Bread, grilled in a skillet until toasty and golden brown and served with a steaming bowl of store-bought tomato soup.
While I'm still pretty likely to turn to Land O Lakes® American when I'm craving a simple sandwich, as I've gotten older, I've experimented with different types of bread, adding meats and veggies, and slathering on different spreads to boost flavor. These days I also usually make my own tomato soup from scratch.
When I found out that Land O’Lakes now makes a 4 Cheese Italian Blend, I was inspired to incorporate it into an Italian-style grilled cheese sandwich. The blend consists of Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, and American cheeses. The American cheese provides meltability while the other cheeses offer their sharp, salty flavors.
After tasting the cheese, I thought about components that would work well with it and ended up assembling a sandwich on scali bread with basil pesto, speck, and roasted tomatoes. The basil pesto provided bright herby flavor while the speck added a touch of smokiness and the roasted tomatoes some sweetness. I brushed the scali bread with olive oil to stick with the Italian theme and grilled the sandwich until it got nice and toasty and the cheese got gooey and melty. Then I halved the sandwich and took a bite. I was so happy with how all the flavors played off of each other.
Italian-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Thinly sliced Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend
For each sandwich, lay out 2 slices of scali bread with the sides that will end up inside the sandwich facing up. Spread 1 slice of bread with pesto and layer 1 1/2 slices of cheese on the other slice.
Top the cheese with 2 or 3 slices of speck.
Top the speck with roasted tomatoes.
Add another layer of 1 1/2 slices of cheese.
Close each sandwich and brush the tops with olive oil.
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Place sandwiches in skillet, oiled side down.
Brush tops of sandwiches with olive oil.
Once bottoms are toasty and golden brown, carefully flip sandwiches.
Cook until second side is golden brown. Transfer sandwiches to a cutting board.
Cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately.
What's in your ideal grilled cheese sandwich?
Some things to know from Land O'Lakes:
Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend is the best combination of the most flavorful Italian cheeses—Asiago, Parmesan and Romano—blended with the creamy goodness of Land O Lakes® Deli American Cheese. Add this delicious cheese to everything from favorite dishes to sandwiches or burgers hot off the grill. The creamy taste truly makes each dish an everyday masterpiece.
Land O’Lakes has produced a variety of top-quality cheese products, from farm to table, for over 90 years. Land O’Lakes is a farmer-owned cooperative, consisting of independent farms, large and small. These farmers take pride in providing the best ingredients to go into all Land O’Lakes cheese products.
Pin a Meal. Give a Meal. Throughout April until May 1, Land O’Lakes will donate $1 to Feeding America every time someone pins or repins a Land O’Lakes recipe on Pinterest. That’s eight meals for a hungry family when you pin a recipe—and eight more every time anyone else repins it. Giving goes viral. Find your favorite Grilled Cheese recipe to pin on landolakes.com.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Land O’Lakes as part of the Kitchen Play Sidecar series. All opinions given are my own.