Sunday, June 1, 2008

Garden Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I still have asparagus spears popping up in the myrtle. I've been enjoying asparagus nearly every day for about a month now. I add it to my stir fry, I chop it fresh in my salads, I grill a handful for my dinner side dish.

I remembered a treat from my archives that is easy to convert to gluten free! I won the American Dairy Association of Indiana recipe contest with this one in 2001. It was a grilled cheese theme that year. The top six recipes got to compete in a grill off, with local food celebrity judges. My entry won by one slim point. I decorated my plate of appetizer-size sandwiches with miniature daffodils from my garden. So that one extra point might have come from the "presentation" category. Here's my gluten free version.

Kay's Garden Grilled Cheese

About half a loaf gluten free bread, 8 slices
8 slices crumbled bacon
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened (Because cream cheese contains guar gum, I now sub 6 oz. goat cheese and 1 to 2 oz. sour cream, blended until smooth.)
4 T grated sharp cheddar cheese
20 asparagus spears, cooked tender crisp
1 to 2 T chopped fresh dill
zest of one lemon

Combine bacon, cream cheese, lemon zest and dill. Spread mixture on one side side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle half of the slices with cheddar cheese. Place asparagus spears on top of the cheddar, cut to fit if necessary. Top with an un-cheddared slice.

Melt butter in a skillet. Grill the sandwiches, turning once, until bread is lightly browned.

These can also be oven-grilled. Brush the sandwiches with melted butter and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, turning after the first 6 minutes.

This sandwich lends itself to lots of variations, so add whatever sounds tasty. And don't be afraid to substitute.

I usually made small sandwiches and served them as appetizers. So I mostly used the oven method.

My gardens are nearing completion! I have most of my plants in the ground, and a little space left over. I've been working on these gardens a long time. I harvested my first whole heads of lettuce yesterday, as I was getting the last of my tomatoes planted. And the my beets sprouted in the root bed the same day.

This is just two heads of lettuce, one bibb and one Brunia red oak leaf. They filled my basket!

Today I'll help plant Rich's big garden. While I have seven different vegetable beds, nestled in among the flowers, Rich has one big "manly-man" garden. I'll help build the tower for pole beans. Then I'll help plant the corn that he can eat and I can't. Last year's Silver Queen crop helped me diagnose my corn allergy. It was quite tasty! We sold hot buttered ears at our little farmers market. I always ate at least one ear myself. That's okay, I'll watch others enjoy it this year.


jenntenn said...

I never ate asparagus when I was younger. Boy, was I stupid!

Carrie said...

that sounds SOOOO good Kay!! I'm in sandwich mode here lately and I'm all about a sandwich like this!! hubby is possibly making tuna salad sandwiches tonight and i'm SO excited! lol who gets excited over tuna salad sandwiches? lol They are super special because HE is making them!

Sarah said...

Oh yum! I just love asparagus!

Kay, I've got a question posed on my blog about flour brands and where to buy. Would you please stop by and give me your two cents? Thanks a bunch!

Gluti Girl said...

Ahhh, that is beautiful! I never ever thought to grill with cream cheese and it sounds so wonderful. This one I have to try!

FibroLady said...

I envy you your garden. I moved to Arizona from Washington state a few years ago, and a garden is what I miss most. The sandwich looks delicious, too bad I missed this when asparagus was in here. I do love it so. I froze some, but don't reckon it would work well for this.