Cheese -- other than animals, is there anything better in the world? I think not. Sure, pasta is a close second, but where would pasta be without cheese? Cheese is the glue that holds us all together, and this Parmesan-crusted Brie grilled cheese with apricot, avocado and fresh herbs is just what you need in your life.
Naturally, you can imagine my love for a gooey grilled cheese, especially when it's filled with a few of my favorite seasonal ingredients. I don't necessarily have a favorite type of cheese when it comes to grilled cheese. After all, just about any cheese has its place in the grilled cheese world, depending on fillings, your mood and the like. But Brie -- if I had to pick a few of my favorites for grilled cheese, Brie would definitely rank highly for its stretchy, luscious qualities.
To go along with the Brie, this grilled cheese uses a mixture of fresh basil and tarragon for a lovely savory kick and noseful of aromatics. You then layer the Brie and herbs with alternating slices of apricot and avocado. The avocado gives the Brie grilled cheese a creamy boost while the apricot lends a gentle acidity that brightens the whole sandwich. As a grand finale, you top the sandwich with a sprinkle of shredded havarti and then cook until perfectly golden brown.
As you can see, the Brie grilled cheese is filled with soft, creamy textures, so that golden crust offers a nice contrast. But I like to take this a step further by dusting the bread with freshly grated Parmesan before cooking. Not only does the Parmesan add a flavor boost but it also gives the bread an extra crunch.
With all the gooey goodness, you want something effervescent that cuts through that rich body of this Brie grilled cheese. Honestly, I’m almost having a hard time picking a beer pairing because there are so many directions you could go. That said, my brain keeps returning to a gose, a German-style wheat beer with a tart flair. Goses are also a great base beer for so many different fruits and herbs that it will nice highlight the other flavors.
If you’re in need of a wine pairing, Champagne is a perfect option. Champagne obviously delivers on the effervescent front, and it complements so many different fruits. Besides, how fun is eating grilled cheese with Champagne? Sure, you’re a little fancy, but you also know how to have a good time.
I hope you give this recipe a try next time a major cheese craving hits. And if you’re like me, that’s probably about now. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
You're a sandwich fan, eh?
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Parmesan-Crusted Brie Grilled Cheese With Apricot, Avocado and Fresh Herbs
- Cooking spray
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan freshly grated
- 8 ounces Brie sliced, rind optional
- Handful of fresh basil chopped
- Handful of fresh tarragon chopped
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1-2 apricots sliced
- 2 ounces havarti shredded
- Generously coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
- Spread one side of each bread slice with softened butter. Sprinkle Parmesan over the buttered bread and gently press down.
- On the two unbuttered sides, evenly place slices of Brie so that it mostly covers the bread. Sprinkle with basil and tarragon. On each slice, layer with alternating slices of apricot and avocado. Top with havarti. Place the other two slices of bread on top, buttered side facing up.
- Place in skillet and cook until golden brown. Carefully flip and continue cooking until the other side is also golden brown and the cheese melts. Cut into halves and serve immediately. Enjoy!