Grilled Cheese is cool and all, but Za’atar Pesto Bagel Grilled Cheese is NEXT LEVEL. Check out that cheesy carby goodness! To quote the Kool-Aid Man, “Ohhhhh, yeahhhh”. I thought this bagel grilled cheese, inspired by the infamous Sadelle’s version, would be epic, but it actually surpassed my expectations. A perfect hangover food and I wasn’t even hungover! Crunchy bagels, gooey cheese, and herby pesto all fried together. Yes, ma’am.
On our vacation to St. Thomas last week, (I’ll recap it soon!) I was dreaming of new Shavuot recipes (as one does). (A little refresher, this holiday is all about the cheese. Short recap, we got the 10 commandments, suddenly had to keep kosher, and a cheese platter is a heck of a lot easier than butchering a cow, so dairy it is!) Cheesecake or blintzes are traditional, but why not grilled cheese?? An excellent question indeed.
The za’atar pesto is totally optional, and you can get creative with the toppings if you like. Go crazy. But you might want to just make this pesto to schmear all over pasta (if you do, add a little pasta water to thin it out) or sandwiches or salads or eat with a spoon late night in your unicorn onesie pajamas by the light of the fridge. Hypothetically speaking of course.
And it’s really the perfect condiment for a bagel grilled cheese. Here’s what you do. You want to schmear mayo on the INSIDE of the bagel, which becomes the outside. If you remember from when I was in culinary school we had to make mayonnaise from scratch and I nearly quit on the spot because mayo grossed me out that much. And here I am schmearing mayo on my precious bagels for fun! If that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.
Anyway, mayo makes the best grilled cheese because it gets all browned and crispy and has a nice tangy flavor. Just do it.
P.S. Neon Pink Kate Spade Challah Knife available here! (Swoon!)
Break me off a piece of that, right?
- For Za'atar Pesto:
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 packed cup cilantro leaves and stems
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon za'atar
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For Grilled Cheese:
- 1 Everything Bagel
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, or your favorite
- 2 tablespoons Za'atar Pesto
- First, make the pesto.
- Add the basil, cilantro, Parma, walnuts and garlic to a food processor and pulse just until combined. Add lemon juice and za'atar and pulse to combine. Then drizzle in olive oil until a paste forms. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Now, grilled cheese time! Slice your bagel in half and schmear mayonnaise on the inside.
- Heat a large pan over medium-low heat and add one half of the bagel, mayo side down. Then carefully top with cheese, and spoon on pesto, avoiding the hole. Top with the other bagel half, gently pushing down, cover with a top, and cook for 3-4 minutes until the cheese starts to melt and the bottom is nice and brown.
- Carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cheese is melty and bubbly and you can't wait anymore you must eat the grilled cheese!
- Eat immediately. Duh.