My toddler loves grilled cheese sandwiches. So much that, given a choice, she would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s gotten to the point that when I ask her what she wants to wear, she screams, “Grilled cheese pants!”
I made a cheddar, chive & ciabatta panino that can please both toddler and adult palettes, and is a bit more nutritious than the standard version we do in our house. Chives, I learned in Eating on the Wild Side, are a potent antioxidant and have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to treat fatigue and a variety of disorders. They add a healthy kick of flavor to the rustic ciabatta and creamy melted cheddar in this sandwich. Now go get your grilled cheese pants on and try it!
Cheddar, Chive & Ciabatta Panini
Slice diagonally across a rustic ciabatta loaf to cut 1/4-inch thick slices (2 for each sandwich you’re making). Shred some mild cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup per sandwich) and use kitchen shears to cut a handful of chives into tiny pieces; combine cheese and chives in a bowl. Butter the outsides of the sandwiches and then lay open-faced and pile cheese & chive mixture on top of bottom layers of the sandwiches. Assemble with the (buttered) top bread slices and place into frying pan on medium-high heat. Cook until dark brown on the bottom and flip with a spatula. Laying the spatula down flat on the top of a sandwich one by one, push down to flatten — you might need to use a wooden spoon to push down on top of the spatula to flatten the sandwich enough to make the cheese ooze out. Cook until sandwiches are dark brown on the second side. Serve with your favorite ketchup.