As spring comes to an end and summer quickly approaches, asparagus is in full season across the country. Prized for its nutritious value, sweet taste and tender texture, asparagus goes hand in hand with Wisconsin Cheese. What is your favorite way to prepare asparagus? Do you have a favorite asparagus recipe?
This Tuscan-Style Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a distinctive way to enjoy the season’s fresh ingredients and your favorite Wisconsin Cheeses during June Dairy Month.
Tuscan-Style Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Sandwich
18 spears (2 pounds) asparagus, grilled
1/2 cup prepared balsamic-garlic-olive oil vinaigrette
12 slices crusty sourdough bread
12 slices (12 ounces) Wisconsin Fontina cheese
12 slices (1 pound from 4-ounce ovals) Wisconsin Fresh Mozzarella cheese
1 cup (2 ounces) fresh basil leaves
1 cup (12 ounces) roasted red pepper pieces
12 slices (12 ounces) Wisconsin Provolone cheese
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
In a large bowl, toss the grilled asparagus with vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay 6 slices of bread on a clean, flat surface. Top each slice with (in order): 2 slices of Fontina cheese; 3 marinated, drained asparagus spears; 2 slices of fresh mozzarella; 6 fresh basil leaves; 2 1/2 tablespoons of red pepper pieces; and 2 slices of provolone. Top with a second slice of bread. Cover and reserve. Brush both sides of each sandwich lightly with olive oil.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and grill the sandwiches on both sides, until golden brown. Transfer to a sheet pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through. To serve, transfer to individual plates, cut each sandwich and enjoy!