Forget the beer. These sandwiches are classy enough to be eaten with wine. With sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and Gruyère cheese, this is a grown-up sandwich packed with flavor.
I love the flavor of Gruyère cheese, but its strong flavor goes a long way (plus it’s quite expensive). I added a little Monterey Jack cheese to make the sandwich a little cheesier. You have to love Monterey Jack cheese. It’s mild flavor goes with just about anything.
The sun-dried tomatoes are the real star of this sandwich. The other flavors are just there to complement them. Use the oil that they’re packed in to grill the sandwiches for extra flavor. The sun-dried tomato oil is great for lots of uses so never toss it. You can add it to salad dressings or saute chicken breasts in it.
I love Ciabatta bread for this recipe, but you could use sourdough, Italian, or French bread instead. If the bread slices are thick, you may want to cover the bread slices with cheese and heat them in the microwave until the cheese melts before you assemble the sandwiches. Then you can finish them on a grill pan or in a skillet. A Panini grill would also work well.
Sun-dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches
- 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, plus 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 loaf Ciabatta bread, cut into 4 pieces and each piece cut horizontally
- 8 slices large tomato
- 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
- 3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- In a mini food processor, combine sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato oil, olives, capers, Parmesan cheese, thyme, and garlic. Process until mostly smooth.
- Brush one side of each bread slice with remaining oil. For each sandwich, lay a slice of bread oiled side down and top with 1/4 of Gruyère cheese. Spread 1/4 of tapenade mixture on top of cheese and top with 2 tomato slices. Place 1/4 of Monterey Jack cheese on top of tomato and top with second bread slice, oiled side up.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.
- Heat sandwiches for approximately 2 minutes per side or until bread is nice and toasted and cheese is melted.
Yield: 4 sandwiches