I grew up eating classic basil pesto as a condiment, on pizza and on pasta. But it in the past fewyears, I have been branching out and making pesto out of other green veggies as well: spinach pesto, spring pesto made with garlic scapes and herbs, and my favorite–kale and basil pesto. And if you were wondering whether I’ve put pesto into challah, the answer is, of course, yes.
Making your own pesto is easy and versatile. You can make it with or without classic Parmesan, making it even more adaptable for a kosher kitchen. Once you make a batch, you can marinate chicken with it, add it to pasta or macaroni and cheese, or spread it onto crostini. And if you’re trying to feed it to your kids, you can even add it to grilled cheese.
If your kids are more adventurous eaters, you can add a spread of tangy goat cheese to pair with the pesto. Pickier eaters? Just use good old American or cheddar cheese for a classic American sandwich with a little bit of green pesto flare.
There is no reason you cannot buy store-bought pesto for this, which comes in multiple varieties. You can also make this sandwich more substantial by adding grilled eggplant, arugula, or even roasted red peppers for the adults.
This creamy sandwich is especially delicious when paired with a warming bowl of soup (like my tomato alphabet soup) and well behaved children.
Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Whole grain or sourdough bread
Shredded cheddar cheese (about ¼ cup per sandwich)
Havarti, Swiss or white American cheese
Pesto (homemade or store-bought)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
Spread out slices of bread a platter to assemble. Spread a generous amount of pesto on each slice of bread, about ½ tsp-1 tsp depending on the size of the slice.
Top with one slice of cheese of your choice. Add around ¼ cup shredded cheddar (or more) to each sandwich. Top with additional slice of cheese and the other pesto-smothered piece of bread.
Heat olive oil and butter in a pan over medium heat until just melted.
Put sandwiches down in pan and cover with olive oil-butter. Flip over immediately to get other side of bread covered.
Cook sandwich on each side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.