summer grilled cheese

This post was going to be about the glory of summer produce; beautiful corn, fresh basil, tart limes. I was going to tell you how I created this sandwich on soft brioche with melted sharp cheddar, tangy lime mayo, crisp basil and crunchy corn and how it brings the classic comfort food to a whole new (summery) level.

But I haven’t had time to write that dreamy, descriptive post. I haven’t had a serene moment with a cup of coffee and the quiet click of the laptop keys. And I haven’t had it because of all the screaming. Hours of screaming. From two little girls. Two little girls with four big lungs.

The baby is getting teeth. Two teeth, to be exact, and the poor thing just wants to chew through the table. If you’re a parent you know that there’s nothing more feared than the word teething (other than maybe blow-out) and that the little babes just go through hell to pop those little pearly whites out of their gums. You also know that no matter how long your baby sleeps at night, during teething those rules don’t apply. Needless to say, I’m tired.

The non-baby has decided that waking up halfway through every nap and every night is totally fun, especially when it means she gets to scream for mom and dad. She seems scared but can’t tell us what of. We ask her if she had a bad dream and she nods and cries, although I don’t think she has the foggiest idea what a dream is (her standard answer when I ask what she dreamed about has always been “monkeys cutting pizza!” which actually sounds like a delightful dream to have). She wants to sleep in our bed and then she doesn’t. She wants to sleep on the couch and then she doesn’t. She wants to sleep in the guest room and then she doesn’t. She does want to yell like there’s no tomorrow, and not go back to sleep for hours, and not nap, and be a tired cranky-pants all the time. So I’m a tired cranky-pants all the time who only has time to cook grilled cheese and not to blog about it.

But I digress. I have this moment now, where both children are sleeping, and I have a can of Diet Crack and the sun coming through the windows. So now I have time to tell you that to make this heavenly sandwich you’ll need bread (I used brioche, which is pretty much as good as it gets), mayonnaise (I like the olive oil-based stuff), a wedge of lime, cheese (I used sharp cheddar, but any cheese that melts nicely will do), one clove of garlic, and a ton of fresh basil.

Begin by squeezing the lime into the mayo. You would think that all that citrus would curdle the dairy, but if you stir quickly, there’s nothing to worry about. Cover & refrigerate until ready to use.

Mince the garlic…

…and slice the corn from the cob.

Saute the corn and garlic in a tablespoon of butter for just a few moments—sweet summer corn hardly needs any cooking at all.

Butter one side of 4 slices of bread…

…and spread the lime mayo on the other halves.

Layer on the basil…

…sauteed corn…

…and cheese.

Place sandwiches butter side down in a cold skillet with a tight fitting lid. Place skilled over medium heat. When first side is crisp, remove lid, flip sandwiches, and cook uncovered until crisp. This lid trick is great for allowing the cheese to melt (especially with thicker bread) while not burning the bread. Perfect grilled cheese, every time.

The melted cheddar wraps around those tender corn kernels creating tiny bites of sweet crunch. The basil adds brightness and the lime mayo creates a creamy tang.

Classic winter comfort food redesigned for summer. Whip up a batch of these crispy grilled cheese sandwiches, pour a glass of sauvingon blanc and sit out on the patio with your sweetie.

Ahhhhh. Summer.

And there goes the screaming again. At least I can dream of quiet moments.

Summer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches     printable recipe

This sunny version of the classic comfort food wouldn’t be complete without a cold beer or a glass of crisp white wine. Makes 2 sandwiches. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 wedge lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 ear sweet corn, shucked
  • 1 tbsp butter, plus more for bread
  • 4 slices bread (I like brioche)
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar (or whatever cheese you prefer)
  • several leaves fresh basil
1. Juice the lime wedge into the mayonaise. Stir and refrigerate.
2. Mince the garlic. Slice the corn kernels from the cob. Melt the butter in a skilled over medium heat. Add the garlic and corn and saute for 1-3 minutes, just until corn brightens in color. Remove from heat.
3. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Turn and spread lime mayonnaise on opposite side of bread. Layer on the basil, corn and cheese. Place sandwiches butter side down in a large, cold skillet covered with a tight fitting lid. Set over medium heat and cook until bread is crisp and lightly browned. Remove lid, flip sandwiches and cook uncovered until cheese is melted and bread is crisp. Slice and serve.