Toasty broccoli, sauteed leeks and sharp cheddar make up this gooey cheese grilled sammy.
Full disclosure: I love broccoli. Like, really love it. I buy it every week because I know that when I’m making something and cant figure out what to go with it, that broccoli is the answer. If I don’t end up using it as a side dish, I’ll just roast it up and eat it for lunch. Or shred it up and add to a salad. Or steam it with some butter and lemon juice. It’s basically the perfect food that can be made a million different ways, and all of those ways are somehow better than the last.
This sandwich is perfect, because it’s a grilled cheese at its heart, but you can tell yourself that it’s health food because it’s chock full of broccoli and leeks. If you’ve never had leeks, they’re part of the onion family - they look like super huge scallions, and they’re almost criminally overlooked by your average home cook. They take a bit of prep because they need to be cleaned extremely thoroughly, but they’re worth it.
Broccoli Leek and Cheddar Grilled Cheese
- 8 slices of good sandwich bread of your choice
- 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper
- 1 large head of broccoli, chopped small
- 1 leek, chopped
- 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese (buy it in a block and shred it yourself if you can - it will melt more easily)
- Preheat the oven to 400
- Cut up broccoli into small pieces - don’t worry too much about the size - you’ll be chopping it again after it cooks. Place broccoli on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, or until browned and crisp around the edges. Once the broccoli is done, let it cool enough to touch, and then chop it fine.
- To cut and clean the leek: start by cutting off the root end and the dark green top of the leek. You should be left with only the tight white and light green part of the leek. Cut that in half lengthwise, and then cut each of those halves into half moons. Once the leek is cut up, you can either run it through a salad spinner to clean and dry, or you can submerge the leeks in a bowl of water, and let them sit for 5-10 minutes, at which point the dirt should fall to the bottom of the bowl. If you go that route, dry the leeks as much as you can with paper towels.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the second tablespoon of olive oil, and saute the leeks for 10-15 minutes, until browned and starting to crisp up.
- Mix the broccoli and leeks together - I generally just throw them together on the sheet I used to cook the broccoli - no need to dirty another dish.
- Butter one side of each piece of bread with ½ tablespoon of butter
- Take 4 pieces of the bread, and spread them with 1 teaspoon each dijon mustard (each sandwich should have 1 piece of bread with mustard on it)
- Add some cheese onto each slice of bread, making sure the butter is on the outside, then pile on the leek broccoli mixture, and top with more cheese and the remaining slice of bread.
- On a griddle or non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray or melted butter, place the sandwiches, and cook over medium heat until browned on the first side. Carefully flip, trying not to lose too much of the stuffing (you’ll lose some, it’s inevitable) and cook for a few more minutes until second side is browned, and cheese is melty.
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