This gourmet grilled cheese with pickled beets provides the comfort you crave with caramelized onions, gooey melted cheese and toasted sourdough. Pair that with three-bean tortellini minestrone slowly simmered to savory perfection.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Pickled Beets
Recipe courtesy of “Carlsbad Cravings”
Prep time: 60 minutes
Caramelized Onions 3 tbsp butter • 3 tbsp olive oil • 3 large yellow onions, halved, sliced 1/4-inch thick • 1-2 tbsp water (optional) 1 tbsp brown sugar • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1/8 tsp salt • 1/8 tsp pepper • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Sandwiches 8 large sourdough slices, 1/2-inch thick • 1/3 cup mayonnaise • 4 oz fresh goat cheese, at room temperature 8 oz shredded gruyere cheese, at room temperature • 1 jar Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets (about 32 beets) 2 cups baby arugula • 2 tbsp butter, divided • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
To make caramelized onions: In Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium.
Cook until onions are caramelized and rich, deep golden brown, about 25 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat to medium-low or add water if onions are dry or start to scorch before caramelizing.
Add sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute. Onions should be jammy and darkly caramelized when done. Remove to plate to cool.
To make sandwiches: Spread out bread slices on flat surface. Spread thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of each bread slice.
Turn four bread slices over and spread goat cheese on plain side. Top goat cheese with gruyere, even layer of beets, caramelized onions and arugula. Top with remaining bread, mayo side out. Secure with toothpicks, if desired.
In large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add two sandwiches, cover and grill until bottom of bread is toasted, about 5-7 minutes, and cheese starts melting, checking often. Flip and cook, uncovered, until cheese is melted and bottom of bread is toasted.
Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
3-Bean Tortellini Minestrone
Recipe courtesy of “Joy of Eating”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
1 can (15 oz) READ 3-Bean Salad
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 peeled garlic cloves, minced
2 pinches salt
plus additional to taste, divided
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
plus additional to taste, divided
3 small carrots, trimmed, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
9-10 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 cups baby spinach
Jarred pesto, for serving (optional)
Drain and rinse bean salad; set aside.
In large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and 1 pinch salt; saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, celery and zucchini with remaining pinch salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp tender, 5-7 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes. Add Parmesan rind, if desired. Cook about 10 minutes until most tomato juice evaporates. Pour in vegetable broth. Bring to boil. Add tortellini; cook 2 minutes, or just until tender. Stir in bean salad and spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes to heat through.
Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with pesto, if desired.
Photos & recipes provided by Family Features
To find more comforting meal ideas made for combatting the cold, visit AuntNellies.com and READSalads.com
Article originally appeared in February 2023