grilled blue cheese with honey and walnut pesto

have i told you that i'm, like, *kind of* a pescatarian these days?? not 100%. maybe 90%. (i'll always eat the brisket that you cook for me.) but this summer, with all of our happy vegetables and eggs, a new ful-fueled fascination with beans, and after my trip to cheese school and a first-ever branzino cooking experience, i have been having so much fun diving deep into meals that don't have a big hunk of meat at the center. i like putting the focus on vegetables, nuts, and other things that won't make me look outside and see our macaroni and feel mommy guilt. it's a great challenge and i feel like i'm eating more vegetables for it. maybe it's just in my head. i also like not feeling obsessive about cleaning all of the cooties off of every surface of my body and kitchen when i cook meat, and between the garden and our eggs i can get away with going to the grocery store way less now. 

(side note: we have two chicken breasts in our refrigerator because i'm a dirty hypocrite but i'm having trouble figuring out what to add to next week's ful burritos that will make them better than just burritos filled with mushy beans. do you have any suggestions??) 

so! i don't know where i'm going with this, i think i just wanted to tell you since friends update friends on those kinds of things. not--i repeat not!!!--that i want you to change your menu for when you have me over for dinner next. but when you come to my house we'll probably have lentils. or if we're grilling, how about a fancy grilled cheese!  

let's discuss grilled cheese! i like grilled cheeses where the inside of the bread is first toasted. it allows the cheese to get a little jump start melting, and then there is more textural excitement all up in the middle with nary a soggy bite in sight. a few months ago at cheese school, we tasted various cheese pairings and the one that blew my mind the most was honey with castello's double creme blue cheese. it was like salty/sweet but on steroids because of blue's awesome funkiness and this particular blue's uber creaminess. i knew right then and there that this combination would make one luxurious grilled cheese. so i came right home and did just that. i paired it with a second blue cheese, a quick little walnut pesto too for some oomph and bulkiness, and boom! it's the grown-up grilled cheese of my/your/our dreamz. oh and it needs wine because that's the rule about eating a grown-up version of a kid thing, so this is getting paired with the bright and rich napa cellars' zinfandel. yum. the grilled cheeses pictured here are miniature, fit for a party, but if you're making a meal out of it, go the magnum route

grilled blue cheese with honey and walnut pesto

makes 4 mini or 2 large grilled cheeses


walnut pesto:

1/2 c toasted walnuts

1/4 c olive oil

1 clove garlic

a squeeze of lemon

crushed red pepper

kosher salt and black pepper

grilled cheese:

8 mini slices bread (pictured) or 4 slices sandwich bread

2 ounces castello double creme blue cheese

2 ounces castello traditional danish blue cheese



to make the pesto, blend all ingredients in a food processor and season to taste. be careful not to add too much salt since the blue cheese is salty!

to make the grilled cheeses, toast one side of each of your slices of bread, flip them over, and then top half of them with a layer of walnut pesto, both types of blue cheese, and a drizzle of honey. top with remaining slices of bread and grill until the cheese is melty. 

serve with a pickle and zinfandel and enjoy!


thank you, castello and trinchero family estates, for sponsoring this post!