Grilled Cheese with Fried Sage

by Laura

I had the unfortunate experience of recently analyzing my monthly expenses and having to face the fact (that I really already knew but didn't want to admit) that my largest expense BY FAR is eating and drinking out. With that in mind, I am trying to be better about making dinner at home more often and making it something to get excited about. A good way to do that is to fry sage in butter and oil, put that between cheese on really good bread, and then grill that all in the sage-infused oil butter. (Keep in mind this post is about saving money, not eating healthy)

This is inspired by my favorite pizza of all time at Mozza, a white pizza topped with fried sage that has some crazy ingredients including truffle-laced sottocenere and fennel ash, whatever that is. Here is a recipe for that if you want to go crazy.

If you only have the ingredients available at the Manhattan Beach Von's, this is not a bad substitute!

Cut it in narrow pieces and call it an appetizer!

Cut it in narrow pieces and call it an appetizer!

Ingredients:

Crusty French or Italian bread, cut into medium-thin slices

Sage!

Sage!

Fresh sage leaves

Provolone, fontina, mozzarella, or some combination of whatever white cheese you have on hand, sliced

Butter

Olive Oil

Sea salt flakes (I like Maldon)

Heat about 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil (enough so the bottom of your frying pan is well covered) over medium-high heat in a small frying pan. Once the oil and butter is heated through, place individual sage leaves into pan. Fry for about 1 minute on each side. Remove from oil and set aside. Top bread with a slice of cheese, fried sage, then another piece of cheese and bread and place in heated sage oil. Cook for several minutes until bread is golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side until cheese is melted on both sides. Remove and sprinkle with salt flakes.

Serve with green salad, (store bought) tomato soup, and a glass of Justin Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99 at Costco) and you have a pretty great weeknight dinner.