Get ready for your new favorite sandwich: Grilled cheese with marinated tomatoes

Grilled cheese with marinated tomatoes.
Grilled cheese with marinated tomatoes.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times )

Sometimes, nothing beats the perfection that is rich, gooey cheese melted between two slices of crisp bread. It’s classic comfort food.

For a slight twist, give this version a try. Smoked cheese, such as Comte or Provolone, is sandwiched between thick slices of a rustic country loaf with a layer of marinated tomatoes in the center. The tang from the tomatoes is just enough to offset the richness of the cheese, brightening the flavor and adding a little color. 


Total Time: 25 minutes, plus marinating time | Serves 2 to 4



1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

Pinch red pepper flakes, more to taste

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced lengthwise

10 large basil leaves, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons capers, drained and crushed

2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced


2 pounds very ripe large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, parsley, thyme, pepper flakes, salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir in the onion, basil, capers and garlic. Spread a little of the marinade on the bottom of a large baking dish. Top with a layer of tomatoes. Spread over a little more marinade, then another layer of tomatoes. Top with the remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. The marinated tomatoes will keep up to 2 days.


4 slices from a large country white loaf, sliced 1/2-inch thick

10 ounces sliced smoked cheese, preferably Comte, Provolone or Gouda

4 to 6 slices marinated tomatoes, drained of any excess liquid

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

Place two slices of bread on a cutting board. Divide half of the cheese slices evenly between the two slices, then top with the sliced tomatoes. Top the tomatoes with the remaining cheese, then cover with the two slices of bread to form the two sandwiches. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and swirl in the pan until it is melted and starting to bubble. Place the sandwiches in the pan and grill until the bread is a rich, golden brown and the cheese has started to melt. Carefully flip the sandwiches over, add the remaining butter and continue to grill until the other side is browned and toasted. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.


Each of 4 servings:

Calories 557; Protein 24 grams; Carbohydrates 34 grams; Fiber 3 grams; Fat 37 grams; Saturated fat 21 grams; Cholesterol 111 mg; Sugar 5 grams; Sodium 1,008 mg

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