Grilled cheese sandwiches are taken to the next level here by adding sauteed artichoke hearts and mushrooms.
If I’m ever in a situation where I’m offered a last meal, that meal would almost certainly be artichokes. I love artichokes more than is maybe reasonable and always have. Even as a kid, I loved those weird green veggies that look fairly alien and I’ve been pricked by errant artichoke leaves more times than I can count, but it’s always worth it.
My favorite way to eat artichokes is just plainly steamed (I have a trick for doing it in the microwave which cuts the cooking time in half) with a little lemon butter to dip the leaves and heart in. But honestly, I’ll eat artichokes any basically any form they’re offered to me.
Almost everyone is familiar with spinach artichoke dip, but there is so much more to these complicated veggies than most people know.
A few Artichoke facts for you:
Artichokes are actually a flower that hasn’t bloomed yet.
They are one of the oldest known foods in the world.
Castroville, CA is the Artichoke capital of the US, producing 100% of the artichokes sold in stores around the country. They have an artichoke festival there every year, and the first Artichoke Queen was Marilyn Monroe!
Artichokes are maybe the tastiest super food around. One large artichoke has less than 80 calories and a half a gram of fat. It also contains 9 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. Eating artichokes is insanely good for you.
To Make the Artichoke and Mushroom Grilled Cheese
Start by slicing your mushrooms and draining your artichokes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add your mushrooms. Saute for 8-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are deeply browned and caramelized. Add the artichokes to the skillet, and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the artichokes are browned to your liking and heated through. I like the artichokes get pretty well browned, so I usually go the full 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
Spread butter on the slices of bread, and pile cheese on slices. Add a quarter of the artichoke and mushroom mixture, and then more cheese and top with the second slice of bread, butter out. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
Wipe out the skillet you used to make the mushrooms and place back over medium low heat. Place the sandwiches in the skillet and let them cook for 4-5 minutes or until the first side is browned and crispy. Flip the sandwiches and cook the other side for 2-4 minutes, or until browned. This side will go faster, so start checking it after 2 minutes.
Cool, cut and serve!
Artichoke and Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandiwches
- 1 12 ounce jar of artichoke hearts, drained
- 4 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 slices of Italian bread
- butter for spreading on bread
- 8 ounces shredded gruyere cheese
- Begin by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet set over medium high heat.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, and let them cook down, stirring occasionally, until well browned (about 8-10 minutes)
- Add the artichoke hearts, and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and heated through (about 5-10 minutes)
- Remove from the heat.
- Butter one side of each slice of bread generously.
- Pile 1 ounce cheese on to 4 of the slices and top with ¼ of the mushrooms and artichokes. Add another ounce of cheese on top of the mushrooms, and place the top slice of bread on the sandwich. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Wipe out the skillet you used to cook the mushrooms and artichokes, and place the skillet over medium heat, and place the sandwiches in the pan. Let them cook on the first side for 4-5 minutes or until well browned. Flip the sandwiches, and let them cook on the other side for 2-4 minutes until that side is browned as well.
- Let them cool for a few minutes, cut and serve!