Greek-ish Grilled Feta Sandwich with Sautéed Green Garlic

We’ve cooked some pretty crazy grilled cheese sandwiches this month, but we haven’t forgotten that part of the beauty of grilled cheese is its simplicity. The crunch of toasted bread, the smoothly melted cheese, how perfectly filling it is with a fresh salad on the side.

I sought simplicity the other night when the weather turned bad after a perfectly lovely sunny weekend. (Spring? Where’d you go?) It was pouring outside, and lightning was flashing in the dark, but my old college roomate and I were happily installed on the couch with no plans but a few grilled cheese sandwiches and (finally!) a new episode of Gossip Girl.

The magic ingredient: green garlic. One of the earliest, best signs of spring. I bought a few stalks at the greenmarket in the morning as I desperately tried to keep my umbrella from turning inside out and then actually splitting in half. Green garlic looks like fat scallions, but the strong garlicky musk will guarantee you don’t confused the two. (Sorry for the smell, coworkers.)

We sauteed the chopped-up stalks and then were ready to go with a few slices of flatbread and creamy feta. The creamier the better—I wouldn’t choose a super-salty variety here (like Bulgarian) since you’re going to use a bunch of it.

Throw a flatbread into a lightly oiled pan, layer on the sauteed garlic and feta all the way to the edges, then cook gently until the cheese begins to ooze.

Greek-ish Grilled Feta Sandwich served with lemony escarole salad.

Greek-ish Grilled Feta Sandwich
Makes one large sandwich

two stalks green garlic, cleaned well
olive oil for pan
1/3 lb feta, preferably French
2 round flatbreads (pocketless)
Freshly ground pepper

Chop green garlic into quarter-inch pieces. Slice feta into thin, even pieces.
Heat pan on low-medium heat and add oil. Saute green garlic until slightly translucent. Remove and set aside. Place one flatbread into pan, sprinkle with half the green garlic, then lay feta on top, distributing evenly to edges. Grind fresh pepper onto cheese. Sprinkle with rest of grilled garlic and top with second flatbread.
Cook over low, covered, for five minutes, then flip carefully using two spatulas. cook uncovered over low-medium heat until both sides are golden and cheese has melted. Slice in quarters with sharp knife before serving.

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