Sweet, subtle, and a little bit fancy, we're celebrating #NationalGrilledCheeseDay with our Fig & Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich finished with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Hands up if a grilled cheese sandwich was one of the first things you ever learned to cook! A simple and quick go-to dish, grilled cheese is a nostalgic childhood favourite that only gets better as you age — and with the help of local Ontario cheese, it’s basically the fine wine of the sandwich world.
For this gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, we use fresh figs which pair perfectly with semi-hard Swiss cheeses. The basil provides a fresh a bright flavour then the honey enhances the sweetness of the figs and sesame seeds finish the dish adding a subtle nuttiness and also elevates the aesthetic of the dish.
How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Fig and Basil
Ingredients You'll Need
Bread - we love the flavour sourdough bread provides, however a brioche or Italian style bread will also work great for this gourmet grilled cheese.
Butter - salted or non-salted both work, just make sure it's soft.
Semi-hard cheese - we used Gunn's Hill Dark Side of the Moo, which is a Swiss-style cheese. Gruyère or Havarti cheeses will give you similar melting qualities.
Toppings - fresh figs, fresh basil, honey, and sesame seeds.
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Assemble the Sandwiches
Start by buttering the outside of your bread with a generous slather of butter. On one of the slices, layer a handful of grated cheese. We use grated cheese because we find it melts more evenly than slices. Next layer on slices of fresh figs, a few basil leaves, and another handful of cheese. Top it off with the other slice of bread. These can be assembled a couple of hours before cooking if necessary.
Cook the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Melt a knob of butter in a cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, lay the sandwich in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and crispy. Flip the sandwich and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. If the cheese hasn't fully melted, give the sandwich a good squeeze with the spatula and flip for another minute or two until the cheese is melted.
Garnish and Serve
Once your grilled cheese sandwich is ready, remove it from the pan and slice it in half. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Shop our Fig and Basil Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich
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Our Favourite Essential Cooking Tools
- All-Clad Measuring Cups and Spoons
- John Boos Cutting Board
- Global Chef's Knife Set
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Honey Stick
Fig and Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Honey and Sesame
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tbsp butter softened, plus additional
- 2 cups grated semi-hard cheese such as gruyère
- 6 figs thinly sliced lengthwise
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- 4 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- Butter one side of each slice of bread. Top one slice with ½ cup of grated cheese. Arrange half the fig slices on top, then 3 to 4 basil leaves. Sprinkle with an additional ½ cup of cheese and top with another slice of bread, buttered side facing out. Repeat with the second sandwich.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium heat and add butter. Once melted, lay the sandwiches in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes. If the cheese hasn't completely melted, flip again for another minute or two until the cheese is melted.
- Once the grilled cheese sandwiches are cooked, remove them from the pan and slice them in half. Drizzle each sandwich with 2 teaspoons of honey and sprinkle with a pinch of sesame seeds.
- If you don't have/like sourdough bread, substitute with brioche or another artisanal style bread.
- We used a Mutschli style cheese from a local dairy, but this can be substituted with a Gruyère, Havarti, or other melty cheese.