Fig Grilled Cheesy Sandwich

IMG_2514.jpeg

I pretty much mop up any classic grilled cheese I make in ketchup and hot sauce. To me, eating a grilled cheese and a grilled cheese only is like eating pie with no ice cream, waffles with no syrup. 

Los Angeles has figs everywhere right now, and I’ve totally slept on using them this Summer (we have 10 days left before it’s officially fall). so the easiest solution to enjoy them while I can is toss them in some delicious olive oil and spices, bake them, and stuff them in an Italian style grilled cheese along with other delicious fillings. I read LA has figs in season until October/November, but I realize that’s not the case for most. SO, I’d use the same glaze recipe and just swap out pears for figs, or whatever juicy fruit you have in season. I bake the figs for 20 minute at 400 degrees, so slice fruit and bake according to whatever time + temperature is needed to ensure you have some caramelized fruit for your sandwichy grilled cheesy thing that we’re making. so the easiest solution to enjoy them while I can is toss them in some delicious olive oil and spices, bake them, and stuff them in an Italian style grilled cheese along with other delicious fillings. 

If there weren’t other components besides perfectly baked, gooey figs, inside the sandwich, it’d be easy to take a bite and need some soup or something. So let me break down this sandwich structure for you: 

from bottom bread slice all the way to top bread slice:

BUTTERY sourdough white bread slice, slathered in butter, face down on skillet

 CREAMY, TANGY, GARLIC-EY ricotta, mozzarella, fresh parsley, crushed garlic mixture spread onto inside of bread slice evenly 

SWEET, GOOEY baked figs, about 5 to cover cheese spread nicely 

ONIONY WARMTH caramelized onions, provides a nice classic oniony sweetness, add about a handful

SPICY CRUNCHY hot cherry pepper slices, 5 or 6, or according to how much hottness you want but I think this is the level you want cuz it’s spicy and crunchy but you can still taste everything else perfectly

CREAMY TANGY GARLIC-EY top sourdough with cheese mixture spread evenly on the inside of the bread slice

BUTTERY and then butter slathered on outside of top bread slice 

Every bite is so full of flavor, crunches, and juices flowing at you. It’s seriously the best sandwich I’ve made. It’s like garlic bread grilled cheese with all the possibilities of a sandwich and not too much of one thing. 

Here’s how to make it:

makes 4 full sandwiches, (ingredients more or less, I think the quantities below make for the perfect amount, but please add more if needed or less)

you’ll need 8 slices of sourdough bread (I used the Whole Foods pre-sliced brand that’s vegan. It’s almost french bready which was really yummy)

and 1 cup of Hot Cherry Peppers. You can find them in the condiments section, most likely by the pickled peppers and jalapeno’s. Call first! Sometimes stores don’t have them. 

vegan mozzarella, I use Follow Your Heart and Miyoko’s

(prepare my ricotta recipe, doubled for safety (SOAK YOUR CASHEWS NOW!) )

Okay now for the fillings + sandwich assembly

Baked Figs:

2 cups figs, de-stemmed and cut in half lengthwise

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp unsalted tomato paste (is using salted, cut down on the amount of salt you add)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

spritz of lemon juice

fresh rosemary, for later 


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 


1.) In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice until smooth.


2.) Add figs to the glaze mixture and toss to coat figs evenly. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish (no need to coat with nonstick spray), spreading figs out evenly and so that the inside faces up (so you can see their guts bubble in the oven which tells you they’re done!)


3.) Bake figs for ten minutes, then sprinkle rosemary on on top of figs. Then bake for ten more minutes, or until they look bubbly and caramelized. Set aside. 


Caramelized Onions:


1/2 of a large yellow onion, sliced thinly lengthwise. 

1 tbsp vegan butter 


1.) Heat up a saute pan on medium heat and melt butter.


2.) Place sliced onions onto butter. Stir with wooden spoon constantly, for 15-20 minutes. Add water when onions cook off liquid, about three to four times. Remove from heat, transfer to bowl, re-use the pan with leftover butter for cooking the grilled cheese. 

Cheese Spread:

2 cups ricotta

1 cup mozzarella, shredded

3 cloves garlic, crushed 

3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


1.) Mix together ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, and parsley in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. 


Hot Cherry Peppers (slices) 


1 cup


you can find them in the condiments section, most likely by the pickled peppers and jalapeno’s. Call first! Sometimes stores don’t have them. 


Assemble: 


1.) Slather sourdough white bread slice on one side in butter. Then, place face down on skillet. 


2.) Spread ricotta, mozzarella, fresh parsley, crushed garlic mixture onto bread slice, make sure to get to all the corners so you have cheese in every bite!


3.) Place baked figs, about 5 or so, to cover cheese spread nicely. 


4.) Place a handful of caramelized onions on top of figs. 


5.) Distribute hot cherry pepper slices on top of caramelized onions, I do about 6 or so. 


6.) Butter another slice of bread on the outside, and spread cheese mixture on inside of bread evenly, then place on top of of the cherry slices to top the sandwich off (so that cheese mixture is sitting on top of pepper slices). 


7.) Cook sandwich on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes on one side until golden brown.( I place another pan on top of the sandwich to kick start the cheese melting process so it’s almost acting as a panini press.) Flip over and cook for about 2-3 minutes longer, or until bread is golden brown. 


8.) Transfer to plate and serve! 







Clara PolitoComment