To be perfectly honest it’s really, really hard not to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. There’s something about geometrically parallel lines burnt into bread and melted cheese that can soften the hardest of palates. For this one, the roasted grapes are an inspired addition. The roasting process adds a richness to them that is both unique and unforgettable. Standard grapes taste flat and watery in comparison to their roasted cousins. Hontoni.
Ingredients (yields 4 rounds)
Multigrain bread (x8 slices)
Brie (x1 small wheel, or a largish wedge)
Red grapes (about 30-40)
Sweet basil leaves
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
1. Roast the grapes: put the grapes in a small roasting tray, rub with olive oil and season with salt. Chuck them in a pre-heated oven and roast at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the grapes have shrivelled and their juices are dripping onto the tray.
2. Prepare the sandwich: whilst the grapes are roasting, butter 4 slices of bread on one side. Put on a cold griddle pan (or frying pan), butter-side down. Start to build your sandwich – sliced brie first (enough so that it covers the bread), followed by salt and black pepper, followed by the sweet basil leaves. Once the grapes are roasted, put them on top of the basil (no need to cut them – they should be slightly shrivelled and very soft after roasting).
3. Grill the sandwich: once you have added your ingredients, butter the remaining 4 slices of bread and place on top of the sandwich, butter-side up. For both slices of bread, the buttered sides should be facing outwards, not inwards. Turn on the hob and grill the sandwich on both sides. Whilst grilling, press down gently with a fish slice to make sure they fuse together. You’re done once the cheese is melted and you have some razor-sharp grill lines etched into the bread.
4. Slice and serve: transfer your sandwiches to a chopping board, cut in half and serve. Remember to chew…