Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Avocado, Mozzarella, and Jalapeño Chimichurri Grilled Cheese

Chimichurri recipes seem to be popping up all over the place. So much so, that I feel kinda like chimichurri is the new pesto. So, lest I be a failure of a food blogger, I'm officially on the chimichurri bandwagon . . . though the variation I made is apparently not even remotely traditional.

What is chimichurri? Well, it's an Argentinian sauce, traditionally made with parsley, garlic, oregano, olive oil, and red or white wine vinegar. It's traditionally used as a condiment with meat or fish, but can also be used on vegetables, eggs, or tacos.

And on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Like I said, this chimichurri is not exactly traditional, as it uses cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, green onions, and a bit of honey. But it was tasty and delightfully easy to prepare. Just rough chop the ingredients and give 'em a whir in a small food processor. That's it.

I thought the flavor was great and went well with the avocado and mozzarella. I wimped out and used only one jalapeño instead of two, which I think was a good decision for me. The chimichurri by itself had a tiny kick (perhaps more like a gentle nudge) to it, but wasn't hot at all when combined with the rest of the sandwich.

Note to self: when photographing mozzarella, don't use a white plate.

One word of caution: this is not the sandwich to eat with someone if you're trying to look well-mannered and capable of eating a sandwich without getting food all over your face. Mozzarella is stringy, and it'll want to take the chimichurri and avocado pieces with it.

Or maybe you're a tidier eater than I am.

Avocado, Mozzarella, and Jalapeno Chimichurri Grilled Cheese
slightly adapted from Naturally Ella
Yield: 2 servings

Olive oil spray
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2-4 oz. fresh mozzarella (I used 4 oz.)
4 slices whole wheat bread (I used sandwich rounds)

Chimichurri Ingredients
1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped
4 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1 clove garlic, roughly diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
2 tsp. honey

Place all chimichurri ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until broken down and well combined, adding more olive oil or lime juice as needed.

Preheat skillet or grill pan over medium-low heat. Spray (or brush) outsides of bread with olive oil. Spread about 1 Tbsp. chimichurri on the insides of each slice of bread. Layer one slice with slices of avocado and mozzarella, and top with the second slice.

Cook on each side until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

  • For more (or actually existent) heat, leave the seeds in the jalapeños.
  • This made about twice as much chimichurri as needed for the sandwiches. Here are two ideas for what to do with leftover chimichurri (the first of which uses this chimichurri).

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