Happy Wednesday, all! How excited is everyone that half of the week is (almost) over?! Do you ever have one of those days where you just can’t focus? Well, today is totally one of those days. Not only do I feel like the sky is falling because of the thunderstorm that’s currently going on right above our house, but this lack of sun is totally starting to weigh on me! I think Cilantro MAY have a conniption fit. He doesn’t like loud noises, and he’s making that very apparent this afternoon. Maybe sharing this white garlic pizza grilled cheese will make me feel better. May as well give it a shot!
I’m sure you have a favorite type of pizza out there. I think everyone does. I tend to lean towards “white” pizzas. The more garlic they toss into the sauce the better. The more cheese the better. Sometimes I’ll crave a pizza that just has whole cloves of roasted garlic thrown on top. I’m totally not kidding. My love for garlic is kind of insane. In this particular recipe, I decided to turn my favorite pizza into a sandwich and the result was just pure magic.
The ricotta mixture is BY FAR my favorite part of this recipe. I may even go as far as saying that it would make a perfect filling for lasagna roll-ups! It’s a mixture of whole milk ricotta cheese, lemon juice, fresh herbs, parmesan, provolone and all the garlic you can dream of.
The mozzarella is the perfect finishing touch, and the baby spinach gives the sandwich the freshness it craves from all that cheese.
It’s heaven…heaven in sandwich form.
Now enough about food. Let’s talk BEER!
Brewed By: Goose Island
Style: Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale
Description: So, how do I even begin to describe this beer? It’s just that. It’s almost indescribable. Zach and I walked into our local beer store a while ago, and discovered that they had Goose Island’s Lolita, Gillian, Juliet and Halia. If you are obsessed with the world of beer as Zach and I tend to be, you should already know that not ALL of these beers are easy to find. Imagine our surprise when we came across every single one of them co-inhabiting on one lonely shelf. Of course, we bought them all. How could we not? If you have knowledge of these 4 beers, you will also know how much higher they are in ABV than your average farmhouse ale. There is no way, in a million years, that Zach nor I could finish all four of them in one night, but thought it was completely necessary to compare and contrast them in one sitting. As a result, we had some of our closest friends over and gave it a go. I’ll get into more detail on the other 3 beers at a later time, but let’s talk about Gillian for a moment.In my personal opinion, drinking Gillian is like drinking a dry wine in beer form. It’s partially aged in wine barrels, so this should come as no surprise. It is tart and dry, with hints of white pepper and strawberry. It is sour, but not the kind of sour that has you pucker up. It’s definitely funky and light-bodied, but packs a punch that can’t be matched. In my opinion, you won’t find another beer out there that can match it.
I chose to pair this grilled cheese with this beer because of how my mind wondered towards the thought of “cheese” when I drank it. As it is so reminiscent of wine, it’s a great pairing for certain cheeses. You need cheeses that are going to stand up to the robust flavor going on in the beer, but not a cheese that’s going to take away from it. Trust me, there are cheese out there that can do this. This grilled cheese is light enough in cheese flavor that it is the perfect pairing for Gillian.
If you can’t get your hands on Gillian, try your favorite Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale instead!
Enjoy the rest of your week! Here’s the recipe!
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/4 cup provolone cheese, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 slices Texas toast-style bread
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Preheat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, parmesan, provolone, lemon juice, garlic, basil, oregano, a dash of salt and pepper to taste, and crushed red pepper. Whisk until the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Set aside.
- Butter one side of each slice of bread.
- Take a couple tablespoons of the ricotta mixture and smear it on the unbuttered side of 4 pieces of bread. Place these 4 slices of bread on the griddle, butter side down. Carefully layer the mozzarella and baby spinach on top of the ricotta mixture. Place the remaining 4 buttered slices of bread on top, butter side up.
- Brown evenly on both sides, being careful when you flip the sandwiches. Remove from heat once brown and the mozzarella has begun to melt.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!