A great way to take advantage of fresh, local strawberries, this strawberry balsamic grilled cheese sandwich is an updated childhood classic meant for grownups. Don’t worry, it’s still wonderful comfort food!
I saw a similar recipe on social media and decided I had to try it. They used blackberries, but I figured strawberries would work just as well, and I had just a few local summer strawberries left (since the season was delayed by wet weather). The original post I saw didn’t specify what cheese to use. The internet suggested a strawberry balsamic brie sandwich, but I didn’t have brie either. So, I used smoked gouda instead. The gooey, melty, smoky gouda, the tart vinegar, and the sweet strawberries combine for a salty-sweet-tangy burst of flavor. Plus, some crunch from the grilled bread.
You can use the gouda, or brie, or probably any mild cheese that melts well for this. If you don’t have strawberries, use blackberries instead. I made this with rye bread, but any crusty bread would work well. Ciabatta would likely be great (it makes wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches), because it absorbs the oil’s flavor and turns a beautiful golden brown without getting greasy.
There are lots of different opinions on how to grill cheese sandwiches (or toast them if you are in the UK). Some butter the bread, others slather on mayonnaise (no no no). I prefer to just cook them in a mixture of butter and oil. The oil has a higher smoking point than butter does (so it’s less likely to burn). The butter adds extra flavor.
Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich Substitutions and Variations
- use blackberries or raspberries instead of strawberries (blueberries might work too, but they’re harder to cut up)
- try brie, goat cheese, or Monterey Jack instead of gouda
- experiment with crusty breads such as ciabatta or a hearth loaf
- toss in a few fresh basil leaves
- add some black pepper to the strawberry/balsamic mixture
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