Cherry Bomb Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This cheeky grilled cheese, developed by chef Liana Robberecht from Calgary, gets its name from the delightfully bright pop of flavour of the candied cherry tomatoes prepared for the recipe.

Number of servings : Makes 2 servings

Prep time: 45 minutes / Chilling time: about 25 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Type of meal : | Sandwiches | Sandwiches

Special diet :

Ingredients

Four ½-inch (1 cm) thick slices French bread, about 4-1/2 inches (11 cm) square
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, softened
1 Canadian Triple Cream Brie wheel, about 4 oz (125 g), rind cut off, sliced into 4 equal slices
Candied Tomatoes (recipe follows)
6 slices of cooked bacon
¼ tsp (1 mL) fresh cracked black pepper
½ tsp (2 mL) Maldon sea salt

Candied Tomato–Lemon Vinaigrette
2 tbsp (30 mL) reserved candied tomato liquid
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) apple cider vinegar
Pinch each of salt and pepper
¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) favourite mixed salad

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Place bread slices on a work surface; butter one side and turn over butter side down. Place one slice of Brie on each bread slice. Top two slices evenly with the candied tomatoes and bacon. Sprinkle each slice of bread with pepper. Cover tomato side with the Brie side, leaving butter side out.

3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook sandwiches for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place skillet in oven, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

4. Meanwhile, prepare Candied Tomato-Lemon Vinaigrette. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk candied tomato liquid, lemon rind and juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place salad in a bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide among plates.

5. Let sandwich rest for 1 minute; cut in half and place on plates; sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Candied Tomatoes

2 cups (500 mL) cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half and seeded (approx. 24)
1-½ cup (375 mL) granulated sugar
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
½ sprig of rosemary
2 slices each lemon and orange
1 tbsp (15 mL) vermouth or white wine

1. In a glass bowl, combine tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary. Squeeze juice from lemon and orange slices and add along with the rind; toss making sure the tomatoes are covered with the sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat, add tomato mixture and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Strain through sieve into a bowl, reserving the liquid. Discard stems and rinds. Refrigerate candied tomatoes and liquid to cool.

Cooking Tips: For easy slicing, place Brie in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Want to save time and calories? Here’s what you can do: instead of marinating cherry tomatoes overnight, slice cherry tomatoes and drizzle with 4 tbsp (60 mL) of honey, add rind of ¼ of a lemon and orange; sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Replace Triple Cream Brie cheese with a single regular Canadian Brie cheese.

Nutritional information:

Cherry Bomb Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Cherry Bomb Grilled Cheese Sandwich