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Smoked gouda and pesto grilled cheese sandwiches


  • 8 half-inch [12‑millimeter] slices hearty white bread, such as French or Italian
  • 4 tablespoons [55 grams] unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup [60 grams] homemade (recipe below) or store-bought pesto
  • 2 cups [230 grams] shredded smoked Gouda cheese


  1. Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter, then flip over and spread the pesto evenly over the other side of each slice (about ½ table­spoon per slice).
  2. Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Place four slices of bread, butter-side down, in the pan. Divide the cheese evenly over the bread, then cover with a lid and cook until the cheese is about three-quarters of the way melted, a few minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan and top the sandwiches with the remaining bread, butter-side up.
  5. Flip and cook, covered, until the cheese is fully melted and the bread is golden brown, a few minutes more. Let cool slightly, then slice the sandwiches in half and serve.
  6. PRO TIP: Most supermarkets with good cheese departments carry smoked Gouda. If you can’t find it, smoked mozzarella or regular Gouda may be substituted. I find the cheese melts better when shredded, but it’s fine to slice it very thinly if you prefer.

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