A rich, cheesy and buttery bite for breakfast or a snack, this Grilled Cheese Tomato Basil Sandwich can be your holy grail. With just some basic items straight out of your fridge and a handful of fresh basil leaves plucked from your home garden (or store bought), you can put together this perfect, tangy, cheesy sandwich in less than 10 minutes. It is super quick, insanely easy to whip up and you wouldn’t believe how heavenly it turns out with such minimal ingredients and efforts! That slight crisp of perfectly toasted buttery bread slices, layered with tangy savoury tomato filling and that tempting cheese makes this recipe nothing short of an absolute delight.
With the goodness of tomatoes and richness of cheese, this recipe makes a heavy and filling breakfast, a quick Sunday brunch or even a perfect last minute picnic lunch. Since I am a big fan of Italian cuisine, with the star ingredients as tomato and basil, this sandwich also helps satiate those Italian cravings without putting in too much effort or an elaborate spread.
Ingredients in This Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Tomato sandwiches make a perfect summertime meal. Throw in a little of olive oil, some basil and cheese and you have quite an ensemble. Let’s look at the key ingredients that make this recipe such a dream.
As the name suggests, tomatoes are the star ingredient of this recipe. Tomatoes have a sweet, tangy flavour which elevates whatever dish you add them too. It is the base of most of the Italian cuisine and Indian curries. Tomatoes are very versatile- they can be had raw, blended into a salsa/dip, made into a base gravy/curry, cooked to perfection with herbs to make that perfect marinara/pizza/pasta sauce and in this case- stir fried and cooked till soft, seasoned and mixed with some fresh herb to make that perfectly gratifying sandwich filling. The sweet, bright, fresh flavour of tomatoes is unmistakable and they are also loaded with vitamins and antioxidants so eat well and feel better!
Basil is a culinary herb used in almost all Italian recipes, and several other cuisines worldwide. The flavour of basil is sweet and savoury, with hints of mint, anise and pepper; however the herb ultimately adds a hint of sweetness to any dish. While dried basil has more concentrated flavours and can be used in place of fresh, using fresh basil for your recipes is always better as dried uncooked herbs have a slight dusty taste to them and never fully substitute fresh herbs. Fresh basil is so good- it adds a punch of flavour, smells delicious and can add other dimensions to your dish. It is very easy to grow basil in your kitchen garden and pluck a fresh handful every time you need, just like me.
Who doesn’t love cheese? It is literally the best food ever because it’s not just gloriously delicious and satisfying, but also good for your body because of its high calcium content. While it can be consumed raw, with a side of wine or as is, or melted into a dip, it also constitutes as the base of so many dishes. Think about it- Mac and cheese, grilled cheeses, cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks, cheese fries. The list is endless, I mean, you just can’t beat it. All of these foods would not even be possible without the beauty of cheese. In this tomato basil sandwich, cheese really changes the whole game.
Why this Tomato Basil/Cheese Grilled Sandwich?
- Super easy and quick
- Can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes
- All ingredients are most probably present in your fridge right now
- Healthy breakfast/brunch
- Fool proof recipe
- Perfect for a picnic/ packed lunch
Let’s take a look at the recipe.
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cook time – 10 minutes
For the filling:
- 30ml olive oil
- 10g finely chopped garlic
- 100g finely chopped red onions
- 500g chopped tomatoes
- 3g black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 10g chopped Italian basil
For the sandwich:
- 2 slices of white bread
- Some more fresh basil leaves
- Grated cheese (adjust quantity as per your liking)
- Butter for grilling
- Heat the olive oil in an iron cast skillet/pan. You can use any other oil but I’m using olive oil for that extra kick of flavour and slight Italian authenticity that it adds to the dish.
- Add the garlic to the oil and sweat it for a few seconds. Do not brown.
- Now add the chopped onions to the pan and cook stirring occasionally till they turn translucent. Again, do not brown.
- Throw in your chopped tomatoes and cook on high flame, stirring occasionally.
- When the tomatoes turn mushy and soft and loses all its raw smell, add in the chopped fresh basil leaves and mix well.
- Take it off the heat and let it cool down.
- Put a generous layer of filling on a slice of bread.
- Top it up with some more fresh basil.
- Now, add lots of grated cheese and cover it with another slice of bread.
- Heat some butter in a pan and place the sandwich on it.
- Grill on each side till crispy and golden brown.
- Once done, cut the sandwich in half or quarters and enjoy!
Hope you try and enjoy this tomato grilled cheese sandwich.