I have to admit, that of all the sandwiches out there, and all the sandwiches I have eaten in my lifetime, my favourite has to be the good old fashioned Cheese Toastie, or Grilled Cheese as it is also called. Over here they call sandwiches sarnies in some places. Or Baps . . .
Bap. Sarnie. Toastie. Sandwich. Truth be told no matter what they are called this carb loving heart of mine just adores them whatever they be called, and the grilled cheese is my most favourite-est indulgence of all!
Today I was really craving salad and oddly enough grilled cheese sandwiches. I got to thinking and we all know what happens then . . . my creative mojo goes into overdrive and you just never know what I am going to end up with. Most of the times it's something quite, quite delicious . . . others maybe not so delicious, but always interesting largely edible. I'm happy to say that today I ended up with something quite, QUITE delish!
Think about it . . . crisp salad greens scattered across a nicely chilled plate . . . and topped with some of your other favourite salad ingredients . . . crisp and peppery radishes . . . crunchy cucumber . . . snappy and sweet red onions . . .
Now top that with a fantastically devilishly moreish fresh Lemon Thyme and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette dressing . . . not a lot . . . just a drizzle . . . coz there's more to come. Oh sure you could use regular thyme if that's all you have . . . but the lemon thyme just adds just a teensy bit more depth to the flavours . . .
Finally . . . top all that goodness with a crisp freshly toasted Cheese Sarnie, deliberately sliced on the diagonal . . . some of the cheese oozing out . . . just laid here and there on the top . . . now a final drizzle of that scrummy dressing . . .
Presto! A deliciously easy, scrummily edible, moreishly wanton Grilled Cheese Sarnie Salad.
And you thought salads were mostly boring??? Aha!! Not in this house! This just could not get any better!
*Grilled Cheese Sarnie Salad*
Don't knock it til you try it. This salad rocks! Fresh salad fixings, topped with toasted cheese sarnie croutons and drizzled with a lemon thyme honey mustard vinaigrette!
4 small heads of baby gem lettuce, washed trimmed and leaves separated
(tear any larger leaves into bite sized pieces)
4 large radishes, washed trimmed and slivered
1/2 small red onion, peeled and slivered
1/4 of a medium sized English cucumber, washed, unpeeled, cut in half lengthwise and
then sliced into half moons
8 slices of fresh bread
4 ounces of good strong cheddar cheese, grated (a heaped cup)
For the dressing:
4 1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 TBS liquid honey
1 TBS Dijon mustard or to taste (grainy or smooth, it's up to you)
a few springs of lemon thyme (you may use ordinary fresh thyme if that's all you have)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A few springs of thyme for a garnish (optional)
First make the dressing. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and whisk half of them together the olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard until thoroughly amalgamated. (Reserve the remaining thyme leaves for the sarnies.)Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Wash and dry the lettuce. Scatter the leaves onto four plates, tearing any larger leaves into bite sized pieces. Scatter the radish, onion and cucumber over top.
Spread the softened butter onto one side of each slice of bread. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toss together the cheese and remaining thyme leaves. Place 4 of the bread slices, butter side down into the heated pan. Top each with an equal amount of the cheese/thyme mixture. Top the cheese with the remaining slices of bread, butter sides up. Toast over medium heat, until golden brown on the outsides and the cheese is melted. Cut each sandwich into 3 or 4 pieces diagonally.
Give the dressing a quick whisk and then drizzle some of the dressing over each salad. Top each with 1 cut sandwich, and then drizzle the sandwiches with some of the dressing. Garnish each salad with a small sprig of thyme if desired. Serve immediately!