Chef Eric Greenspan didn’t set out to become a grilled cheese mastermind. But when he threw all the cheese from his charcuterie plate in between two slices of bread at one of his restaurants, demand for his creation grew and grew. He entered the sandwich in the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational, and it took home the grand prize. Now Greenspan is on a mission to inspire others to invent their own sandwiches.
Nothing screams summer quite like a caprese salad: creamy burrata, sweet-tart summer tomatoes, whole basil leaves and balsamic vinegar. So why not turn it into a sandwich?
Note: If you can’t find burrata, buffalo mozzarella is a good substitute.
4 (3-ounce) balls burrata cheese
8 slices sourdough bread
2 cups balsamic vinegar
8 slices heirloom tomato, preferably a mixture of varieties
12 fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, for finishing
Reduce vinegar: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Let cool. (You will need only a small amount of the reduced balsamic; store the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use on salads, fresh fruits such as peaches, strawberries, and melon, and anywhere you need a sweet jolt of zing.)
Prepare bread: Line up half of the bread slices on a work surface. Spread a burrata ball on each slice, then top with 2 tomato slices and 3 basil leaves. Drizzle each sandwich with 1 teaspoon of the reduced balsamic. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.
Grill sandwiches: Line a large platter with paper towels. In a skillet over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Turn down the heat to low, add 1 sandwich, and cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp on both sides and the cheese is melted.
Serve: Transfer to the prepared platter to blot the excess grease. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches in half, plate, and serve.