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Janet McCormick/The Lawrence Herald

Grilled cheese -- the perfect comfort food -- can be elevated to elegant with the addition of flavorful pesto, tomatoes and spinach and a mix of Italian and Greek cheeses.

Grilled cheese is a favorite of mine not only for its comforting, homey, warm and toasty qualities, but also for the versatility this simple sandwich offers. Gone are the days where two pieces of flimsy white bread enclose a plastic covered not-really-even-cheese. No, this almost perfect American staple has totally evolved in the past few years thanks to the sometimes overwhelming foodie movement we are all celebrating now.

The only reason I use the word “overwhelming” is because the search for the best of anything comes with so many options one could spend hours pilfering through the massive amounts of recipes and ideas. And if ever a food has earned the grand title of “Not yo’ momma’s grilled cheese,” this one achieved that status.

The season is ripe with possibilities as tomatoes and basil are in plenteous supply. Nothing is as fresh and the true embodiment of summer than tomatoes topped with fresh aromatic basil. Even though I settled on this arrangement for my grilled cheese sandwich, feel free to design your own. It’s as simple as anything you dream of eating, add some creamy, gooey cheese, butter the sides and grill.

I’ve dreamed of pork barbecue, pizza, brisket and lobster as possible contenders for future grilled cheese sandwiches. Even mac and cheese has made my list of “been there done that” sandwiches.

This — this was a delicious combination and hey, the cheese was already there, I threw caution to the wind and just added more. There are no rules with this “no-recipe” recipe, as it really is a concoction of what your dreams are made of. This sandwich has three different kinds of cheese that served to create a melted, creamy paradise. The basil and tomatoes accented the flavors and made my sandwich dreams come true.

Caprese Grilled Cheese2 slices of any bread (seriously)

Mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Feta cheese


Slices of tomato

Pesto sauce

Olive oil

Layer two slices of bread with the cheese, tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with pesto sauce. Spread each side of bread with olive oil and grill until golden brown over medium high heat.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or