We’re always scouring the web and cookbooks for exciting new dinner recipes, but one meal that seems to fall to the wayside more often than not is lunch. It’s smack in the middle of the day when we’re often the most busy, and all too frequently we end up microwaving something frozen or nibbling on snacks instead of cooking ourselves a proper meal. But this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis changes all that. In fact, now that we’ve seen the utter cheesy glory that is her spinach dip grilled cheese, we can’t stop dreaming about lunch time.
Great lunches all have two things in common: they’re easy to make, and they’re simple and satisfying to eat, and this recipe definitely fulfills both of those requirements. Like all great lunches, it also skirts the line between healthy and enjoyable – this melty, cheesy sandwich is packed with sauteed spinach, so you get your greens in even if they are wrapped up in carbs and dairy.
Though we’ve admittedly made a meal out of bubbling hot spinach dip and toasted slices of baguette in the past, this spinach dip grilled cheese from De Laurentiis is way more practical to eat in between Zoom meetings, at your desk, or while the kids are eating their lunch too.
First, spinach is sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes to infuse it with flavor. Then, excess liquid is drained from the spinach (so you don’t wind up with a soggy sando) and it’s chopped into easy-to-eat pieces.
Next, the spinach and mozzarella cheese are sandwiched between two slices of buttered sourdough bread. For even more cheesy flavor, De Laurentiis sprinkles grated Parmesan cheese over the buttery exterior of the bread – in the skillet the cheese turns golden brown and has a deep, savory flavor that can’t be beat.
The hardest part of making these spinach dip grilled cheese sandwiches is also the most hands-off – for best results, you should let them sit for a few minutes after cooking, so that when you cut them in half (or bite into them) the cheese doesn’t spill out like a hot dairy waterfall.
The result? A simple, sophisticated lunch that hits the spot the same way eating hot dip with a spoon straight up does, and best of all, you’ll still have your self-respect.
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