Garlicky Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Bacon

Garlicky Grilled Cheese

I feel like I should have a column on my blog called “Sunday Lunches” – maybe it would get me to do this more often.  I swear, I love having a plan for lunch on Sunday.  This is now about the 4th time I have actually decided to make something out of the ordinary for lunch, and the girls and I are having a ton of fun with it.

Grilled cheese is definitely a staple in this house.  It started out many years ago – before my husband and I were married, but we lived together.  Sometimes he needed a snack after dinner – in those days it was not uncommon for us to eat dinner, and then go do something – or he would run back to the lab for more work.  It wasn’t a mid-night snack, but he would often need something before he went to sleep – and he always turned to his toasted cheese sandwiches.  He loved cheese more than anyone I knew.  It was his 5th food group.  He would toast some bread, throw some cheese on it, stick it in the microwave for just a few seconds, just enough for the cheese to melt, then he would put it together – and there he had his perfect toasted cheese sandwich – no grilling necessary.

Over the past few years, that has stopped as he has given up dairy – but recently the girls have started having that as their Sunday lunch.  At first they balked at a toasted cheese sandwich – they claimed the bread would get soggy – but he showed them exactly the way to make it, and even they were impressed.

Well, that’s good and all, but nothing is better than a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich – and this recipe from Cooking Light was just about as good as it gets.  Adding in the spinach and bacon – wow.  Even my older daughter was fine with the greens, because everything else about the sandwich was so darn delicious.  So there you have it – another Sunday lunch.  This might just be the last, seriously, what could top this?

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2  large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups baby arugula leaves
  • 4  center-cut bacon slices, halved
  • 8  (1-ounce) rustic Italian bread slices
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

Preparation

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add spinach and arugula; stir until wilted. Remove spinach mixture from pan. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook until crisp. Remove bacon.

Top 4 bread slices evenly with cheeses, bacon pieces, spinach mixture, and the remaining 4 bread slices.

Heat pan over medium heat. Add sandwiches to drippings in pan; weigh down with a plate. Cook 2 minutes on each side.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Garlicky Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Bacon

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