Over the weekend I headed to the store to grab a few small items for the garden and I came home with a car brimming with new plants: zucchini and summer squash plants along with a few herbs, flowers (learned my lesson last year- no bees!), and an avocado tree. Yes, an avocado tree (dwarf-perfect for a pot). As a girl born and raised in Illinois, I never thought I would see the day where I would live in place where I could eat fresh avocados, let alone grow them. I am so excited.
If this harissa recipe looks familiar, I used it recently to make this lentil dish. I love being able to create one sauce and use it for different meals. I adjusted the chipotle peppers in this grilled cheese so that the sandwich wasn’t too hot. Also, don’t skimp on the cheese- if you can find taleggio, use it. I think it makes the perfect grilled cheese (it melts extremely well.) However, if you can’t find taleggio, harvarti or fontina would work too.
Harissa and Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 roasted red bell pepper*
- 1 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from one lime
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- Grilled Cheese
- 4 slices wheat sourdough bread
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 3 ounces Taleggio Cheese
- In a blender or food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until harissa is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Preheat grill pan or regular pan over medium-low heat. Brush outsides of bread with olive oil. Place on piece of bread, olive oil side down, in the grill pan and smear on 2 tablespoons of harissa. Layer with sliced avocado and cheese. Smear 1-2 more tablespoon of harissa on remaining piece of bread and place olive oil side up.
- Cook on each side until crisp and cheese has melted.
by Erin Alderson