Gourmet Grilled Cheese
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  • Food: Gourmet Grilled Cheese
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

The contents of a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich determine its quality. This one is exceptional thanks to the green harissa and the melted Havarti cheese.

When nothing but a grilled cheese would do, I create this gourmet green harissa grilled cheese recipe.

It contains all the key components of a classic grilled cheese sandwich, such as crunchy, toasty bread and gooey cheese, but it also includes a layer of freshness and flavor from the addition of spinach and green harissa.

The tastiest grilled cheese I’ve ever eaten, it’s mildly spicy and utterly amazing.

The true star of this dish is the green harissa. Its ingredients include roasted peppers, garlic, lemon, spices, cilantro, pepitas, and olive oil.

It resembles pesto in texture and flavor and is made with these ingredients. It’s simple to make in a food processor and adds a lot of flavor to this fancy grilled cheese recipe. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Making Grilled Cheese

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Easy
Food: Gourmet Grilled Cheese (Source: Taste of Home)

Just three ingredients are needed for a simple grilled cheese:

  • Sliced bread – my preferred type is sourdough!
  • I enjoy Havarti cheese.
  • Olive oil or butter? As usual, I’ll go with the extra-virgin variety.

Although I use Havarti, green harissa, and spinach to construct my gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, there are countless more possibilities.

You can substitute your preferred cheese and omit the harissa if you’d like. It would be fantastic in its stead to spread some Dijon mustard, chipotle sauce, or pesto.

Spinach can be omitted or substituted with thin slices of tomato or pepper, roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, pickled red onions, caramelized onions, or arugula if you’re not in the mood for it.

It’s time to start cooking after you’ve put your ingredients together. If using, spread harissa over a slice of bread and top it with a layer of grated cheese and some spinach.

Add the last slice of bread on top, sprinkle with olive oil (or spread with butter), and grill your sandwich until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown on both sides.

Enjoy while serving with tomato soup or gazpacho!

Tips for a Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The best gourmet grilled cheese you’ve ever had can be made. Just remember to use these simple suggestions!

  • A better sandwich comes from superior ingredients. Like with any easy recipe, the quality of your components will determine how good your grilled cheese will turn out. I prefer mine with Havarti or sharp cheddar cheese on nice crusty bread.
  • Make effective use of melting cheese. Avoid crumbly, hard cheeses like Parmesan or manchego since they do not produce the greatest oozy, pull-apart sandwiches. In this recipe, I use Havarti (my favorite is Roth Cheese), but gruyere, gouda, provolone, mozzarella, and white cheddar cheeses (or a mix!) are other excellent options for a fancy grilled cheese sandwich.
  • For consistent cooking, cover. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan if the cheese is melting more slowly than the bread is browning. Before the bread becomes very browned, the stored heat will aid in melting the cheese.
  • Keep any extra harissa. You’ll have leftover green harissa if you attempt this recipe, which I hope you do! A gourmet grilled cheese sandwich can be made with it another day, or you can use it for something different entirely. I suggest sprinkling it on pizza slices, falafel, avocado toast, grilled vegetables, tacos, and chickpea shawarma wraps!

Gourmet Grilled Cheese

10 minutes to prepare
10 minutes for cooking
Twenty minutes in total
Serves: 4

This gourmet grilled cheese sandwich gets extra freshness and flavor from a handful of spinach and a dab of green harissa!


Green Harissa

  • 2 green Anaheim peppers, or 1 poblano
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Grilled Cheese

  • 8 sourdough bread slices
  • A few handfuls of spinach leaves
  • 2 to 3 cups grated Havarti cheese
  • Extra-virgin oil, for grilling


Gourmet Grilled Cheese Yum
Food: Gourmet Grilled Cheese (Source: Taste of Home)
  1. Make the green harissa. The skin of the peppers should be completely blackened after being charred over a gas burner or beneath a broiler. Remove from the heat, put in a bowl, and wait 10 minutes before covering with a towel or plastic wrap. Remove the stem from the peppers, then add them to a food processor together with the garlic, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt, honey, cilantro, pepitas, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. Process until well combined. Olive oil should be added and processed until smooth.
  3. Make the grilled cheese. Spread each slice of bread’s interior with green harissa. assemble with cheese and spinach leaves. Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Grill the sandwich on all sides until the cheese is melted, brushing the outside with olive oil.