I know with a Greek theme, you might be expecting either olives or lamb in this grilled cheese sandwich – neither of which are – but this has some other fantastic flavors and is meaty enough without actual meat. I’m not quite sure how I got to thinking of this one, but I think I started thinking about how some of my favorite toasted sandwiches when I have been in local cafes have had spinach in them and wanted to work with that idea.
That then got me to thinking about spanakopita and that Greek flavors would work well in a grilled cheese sandwich which then got to this. Whatever the route (sometimes it’s best not to delve into how my mind works), the result is a fantastically delicious grilled cheese sandwich, which is just what is called for during grilled cheese month (and yesterday was grilled cheese day). Take any excuse, though, this is one great sandwich.
The spinach takes on the flavors from the softened onions to be mildly sweet, the eggplant/aubergine is soft and smooth and the feta adds that flavorful saltiness. The dill havarti tops it off with a final bit more cheesiness that’s just a little more gooey than the feta. All in all it’s got so many delicious flavors and textures going on it was a big hit here and one we have already repeated.
While it takes a little more work than your basic grilled cheese, the spinach-feta filling and the eggplant can be cooked in advance and kept in the fridge then the sandwich put together and grilled when you are ready. In fact it’s generally easier to make a slightly larger amount of the spinach mixture and use it over a couple days – believe me, even me with my general need for variety I was more than happy to have this a couple days in a row.
With lots of great veggies in there, it’s a relatively healthy grilled cheese and it’s certainly a deliciously comforting version that’s hearty enough to keep you going for the rest of the day. The main thing, though, is that it’s really tasty and one you’ll be wanting to make again soon, the excuse of grilled cheese month or not.
'The green Greek' grilled cheese sandwich
- 1 eggplant aubergine, giving approx 6-9 slices
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil approx, for cooking
- 5 oz spinach
- 1/4 red onion or around 4 green/spring onions
- 2 oz feta 60g
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- 6 slices bread
- 6 slices dill havarti approx - to give a layer
- Sprinkle the slices of eggplant with salt and set aside a few minutes while you prepare the spinach.
- Wilt spinach in a little olive oil in a pan. Remove once wilted and allow to cool. Squeeze out excess water and roughly chop.
- Dice the onion and fry in a little oil until softened. Put in a small bowl with the spinach and add the crumbled feta and the cream cheese. Mix until evenly combined. This spinach mixture will be enough for around 3 sandwiches but is easier made in slightly larger quantities.
- Rub the salt from the eggplant then fry the slices in some olive oil until gently brown on both sides.
- Drizzle some olive oil on one side of both slices of bread and rub to cover. Turn the slices over.
- Spread some of the spinach mixture on one piece of bread then put the eggplant slices on top followed by the slices of havarti to create a layer over the top. Put the other slice of bread on top, oil side out.
- Fry the sandwich in a pan a few minutes on each side until browned and cheese has melted.
Try these other tasty grilled cheese variations:
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