Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Crave Wednesday: Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches

  • There are so many parts of San Diego that we've never had a chance to explore. Some parts we don't get to, and other parts we just don't know about.   Before the boys were born, Thatboy and I made it a point to find and explore our surroundings, but now it's not as easy.
  • So we jumped at the chance to do "The Seven Bridges Walk" with my running group and their families.   
  • One of the things I love about San Diego is that it doesn't feel like a city, despite the fact it most certainly is.  It doesn't have the same oppressive feeling that some big cities have with their towering skyscrapers and buildings pressed against each other, blocking the view of the sky.  

The seven bridges walk, a 5.5 mile loop featuring truss and suspension bridges, highlights how unique the city is.  The first bridge is a pedestrian bridge crossing over Park Avenue, linking sections of Balboa Park together.  The second bridge, which caters to automobile traffic has views of canyons and the ocean.

The third, wooden bridge, stretches between homes, over a river which had taken advantage of the recent rains.

And that's where the photographic documentation ends.  Because the fourth bridge was  a suspension bridge.  And I was not going to stop on that for one minute.  I was too concerned with getting over it while carrying Thatbaby.  I'm not a fan of suspension bridges.  After that the kids in the group were getting tired, so all the adults decided that 4 out of 7 bridges is pretty good, and we headed back.

Thatbaby fell asleep on the walk back to the car, so Thatboy and Thatkid killed some time skateboarding before we headed home for lunch, grilled cheese!  Have you ever noticed that grilled cheese makes everyone happy?  It's the ultimate comfort food.  And while the boys are thrilled with American cheese on bread, I personally like my grilled cheese a little fancier.  Like this version with a sundried tomato and olive tapenade.  And gruyere in place of American cheese (which really shouldn't even be called cheese at all.)  The mild cheese mellows out the bite of the olive, while the tapenade spices up what might otherwise be a boring sandwich.  The original recipe calls for sundried tomatoes in oil, which you are welcome to use.  Personally, I find sundried tomatoes in oil to be a bit too early, preferring to control the oil content myself.  But use what makes you happiness.  If you use sundried tomatoes in oil, reserve 2 Tbsp of the oil and use that in place of the olive oil.

Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches (From Cooking Light)
4 sundried tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
12 pitted kalamata olives
2 garlic cloves
8 slices multigrain bread
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
8 slices tomato
2 oz Gruyere cheese, shaved
  1.  Combine tomatoes, 1 Tbsp olive oil, olives, and garlic in food processor until smooth.
  2. Brush one side of each bread slice with 1 Tbsp olive oil.  
  3. Spread 1 1/2 Tbsp olive mixture on each of 4 bread slices, oil side down.  
  4. Top each bread slice with 1 Tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 tomato slices nad 1/2 oz Gruyere.
  5. Top with remaining 4 bread slices, oil side up.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sandwiches to pan.  Place a cast iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches, pressing gently to flatten sandwiches.  Cook 2 minutes on each side.


  1. I used to live right by the wooden bridge! Literally walked across it every day. We were also close to the suspension bridge... which still freaks me out.

  2. This is my kind of veggie sandwich! And yeah...suspension bridges = DEFINITELY not my thing!