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Roasted Strawberry, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Do you have a favorite diner meal? Mine's a grilled cheese sandwich, every time. And I'm talking basic here: American cheese, white bread, paper cup of slaw on the side, please.

But that doesn't mean that I can't fancy things up every now and again. And when I do, I go ALL IN!

This grilled cheese? It's beyond. So rich, delicious and indulgent, and miles above its diner counterpart. We're talking grilled cheese as dessert.

It starts with roasted strawberries. Have you ever roasted strawberries? You need to roast some strawberries. Just like veggies, roasting concentrates the berries' natural juices, making them even sweeter and more flavorful. They soften a bit in the oven too, making them easier to layer on your sandwich.

I paired these gorgeous berries with some sliced brie and chopped bittersweet chocolate. A quick run on the stovetop and you've got a dessert that will blow your guests' minds.

Or just treat yourself one rainy spring afternoon – you deserve it.

You can follow the recipe below, and then experiment with some variations. You can eliminate the chocolate and swap in some turkey for a tasty lunch. Or swap out the chocolate for torn basil or arugula leaves, cut the sandwiches into bite-size pieces and serve as an appetizer. And of course a dollop of Nutella would work wonders, too.

I made double the amount of strawberries needed because I love to have them on hand—and I think you will too. They are lovely spooned over ice cream or frozen yogurt, swirled into a granola parfait or even as a topping on some simply grilled chicken breasts. Toss them with a salad, or serve them with your pancakes or waffles for a next-level breakfast.

Recipe: Roasted Strawberry, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Yields: 2 sandwiches (can be doubled)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 4 ounces brie, sliced
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

  1. Roast the strawberries: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the strawberries in a bowl with the sugar, balsamic vinegar, vanilla, salt and pepper. Place on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. You want the strawberries softened but not mushy. Let cool slightly.
  3. Preheat a large griddle or saute pan over medium heat. Butter one side of each of the bread slices. Take one slice and place it buttered side down on your work surface. Top with half the brie, half the chocolate and half the strawberries. Top with another slice of bread, buttered side up. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Place the sandwiches on your heated pan and cover with a large lid (or a piece of tin foil). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes (checking occasionally), till golden brown. Carefully flip and continue cooking till golden brown on the other side. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Images via Sherry Silver

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