July 19, 2011

Gooey Goodness

One of my projects this summer was to use the little balcony that came with our new apartment to grow some fresh herbs and veggies.  We've been pretty successful so far: our jalapeno plant is going in full-force (it is HOT!!), we have little baby bell peppers appearing, along with a small eggplant variety, arugula, basil, chives, thyme, rosemary, mint, and stevia.  The only failure so far seems to be our dill plant - it was doing well for a while, but the last week I think it gave up on life.  I did get one good Greek salad out of it though, and put some fresh dill on my salmon burger last week, so it wasn't all in vain.  I'll post some pictures when I remember to take some pictures during daylight :)

One of my favorite ways to use some of our balcony greens this summer has been on variations on grilled cheese made on the panini press MG bought me last year.  The winner so far is definitely the Fig, Arugula, and Cheddar Melts we made a few weeks ago.

We started with some yummy whole grain bread from the Dupont Farmers' Market, and topped it with some onion balsamic jam.

Where the gooeyness comes from - dried figs and some Cabot 75% reduced-fat cheddar.

Sandwich assembly line - note the leafy greens!  Arugula from the balcony!

And after the longest five minutes on the panini press, plus an even longer five minutes waiting to cool a bit, time to eat!

Fig, Arugula and Cheddar Panino
Adapted from The Kitchn

2 slices of your favorite whole wheat bread
1 tbsp balsamic onion jam (available at Whole Foods, but probably other places too)
1 oz Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar
3-4 dried figs, thinly sliced
1/2 cup arugula

Spread 1/2 tbsp onion jam on each slice of bread.  Layer on the figs, arugula, and cheddar.  Grill on panini press for five minutes - if you don't have a panini press, just place the sandwich in a skillet or saute pan, put another pan on top, and weigh it down with a couple of soup cans.  Once the cheese is nice and melty, remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes (if you're like me, a "few" minutes doesn't last very long when you're hungry and there is melted cheese involved).   Slice and enjoy!  I think MG and I had a glass of red wine with this, and it worked really well with the peppery arugula. 

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