This past Saturday I woke up to the sound of a blustering Santa Ana wind rattling my bedroom window. As I drew my fluffy pink down comforter closer around my shivering body, I realized that summer truly was over. The air outside was crisp and dry on my morning run, and when I arrived home with rosy, wind-burned cheeks, I knew it was going to be a grilled cheese and soup day. After months of cold turkey sandwiches and fresh fruit salads, I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into something warm and comforting.
After scouring the contents of my fridge and cupboards, I discovered that I had all the fixings for something truly special. This would be no ordinary grilled cheese. While a sharp Cheddar on buttered white bread is fine for some occasions (ie. childhood occasions), I am an adult now (sort of). I have refined tastes, a dexterous chopping hand and a recently acquired obsession with goat cheese --I can do better than what can be found in any greasy spoon diner!
I started out by roasting some shallots, red peppers and yellow squash slices in the oven. I tossed my veggies with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a good shake of pepper and salt, and placed them on a cookie sheet. It took about 15 minutes for them to get tender, but I kept a close watch to ensure that they didn't burn onto my pan (an absolute horror to clean up!).
Once my vegetables achieved the optimal roasting state, I placed them on a slice of Milton's Whole Grain Plus Bread. I sprinkled liberal chunks of goat cheese over the veggies, and then drizzled a balsamic dressing made with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper, on top. I secured the contents with another slice of bread and then heated a small amount of olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Once hot, I used my spatula to spread some of the oil on the top slice of my sandwich. I placed the other side down in the pan and reduced the temperature. (Note: Grilling at a lower temperature ensures that the sandwich will heat through without burning the bread.)
Because grilled cheese sandwiches and soup go together like peanut butter and oatmeal , I paired my hot sammie with a bowl of Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup. Topped with some toasted walnuts, it was the perfect fall lunch. Plus, I got to test drive my fierce new yellow soup bowl from Anthropologie ($4.95). Fall is no excuse to abandon bright colors in favor of frumpy fabrics and place settings! Yellow is like so the new brown! And goat cheese is definitely the new Cheddar.