The original post and another one made in the fall were lost somewhere in the internet during my hiatus. I have no explanation, but here is some restitution. I recreation of that post and the recipe and original photos. Enjoy.
Green has been my favorite color for years now. Even my kitchen table before this one was painted a peppery, verdant green. It’s the color that excites and indicates progress. Green lights are for go and the first bright yellow-green leaves spurting on the trees right now lets me know the glories of spring are on their way. Green is renewal, hope, and promise. I can’t help but look at this fresh green adorning the trees now without thinking of the Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. My children will attest I recite it to them at the start of each green-gold spring.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
As beautiful as green is to admire, I like it just as well ingested. God’s green earth is gloriously edible. I love the sour crisp of granny smith apples, the sharpness of tomatillos in a green sauce, and the bold earthy depth in a plate of greens. You could say I like the color so much I am internalizing the aesthetic beauty and nutrition alike. Which is good for me, both body and soul.
So it should seem no surprise that I’ve been amping up the soul-satisfaction level in a few dishes by elevating the amount of green matter in them. Grilled cheese sandwiches were not safe in their monochromatic hues; I expanded the color palate and was most pleased with the result. A fast saute of garlicy chard, bound together with a creamy contrast of loud gruyere or sharp cheddar cheese is hardly a bad beginning. Then nestle the pair together in between slices of good crusty bread, and then cooked crisp in a hot oiled skillet; this sandwich beckons to be savored. I confess, this is the sort of meal I make most often for myself. Something simple, nourishing and downright delicious.
My kids are quite familiar with this easy meal. And fond of it. They love the oozy cheesy sandwiches that they can take long stringy bites from. I love that the green goodness is on full display, but presented in way they are more than happy to eat. So happy, that last time Justin was travelling they requested this meal twice in the same weekend. I was more than happy to oblige the happy eaters. Green is good.
Great Grilled Greens and Cheese Sandwiches
6-8 slices of bread (I used this one for the sandwiches in the photo)
3 to 4 oz. grated gruyere or sharp cheddar cheese
2 bunches of chard (kale is also nice here, but chard makes friends easier with novice green eaters)
1 clove of garlic
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. While your skillet warms, prepare your greens. Remove the stems from the leaves if you wish or chop them fine if you would like to keep them (stems take longer to cook than leaves so do what works best for your timetable.) Cut the leaves into 1 to 2 inch squares, by stacking them and cutting every 1 to 2 inches, and then turning the cutting board and chopping again in the opposite direction.
Pour 1 Tablespoon oil into the skillet and add the clove of garlic. Allow it to brown and soften, cooking it for just a minute or two. Then add the chopped greens and season with 1 teaspoon sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Saute and taste for seasoning. When the greens are softened and tender (about 5 minutes) remove them from the skillet and set aside. Keep the skillet on the heat for the sandwiches.
Assemble sandwiches: bread, cheese, hearty pile of greens, cheese and bread again. Slosh a bit more olive oil in the skillet then add the sandwiches. Grill, placing a lid over the skillet for part of the time to allow the cheese to melt faster. Feel free to sprinkle a bit of additional cheese on the skillet before adding the sandwich- the crisp cheese outside the bread is delicious and lovely contrast to the creamy oozy interior. Cook until they are deeply golden and lovely on both sides. Cut and serve.