Lemon-Lavender Blackberry & Ricotta Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
The grilled cheese sandwiches consisting of a slice of processed American cheese between two slices of Wonder bread, the ones I ate all through my childhood and into my college years, are thankfully, long gone. In my years as a fromagier, my grilled cheese sandwiches took on much more flare with bits and pieces of fancy cheese I would bring home from work but those sandwiches don’t even compare to the ones I make these days. Now my grilled cheese sandwiches are much more compassionate and have even more class than before.
These lemon-lavender blackberry & ricotta grilled cheese sandwiches are a perfect example of that. Between two slices of toasty, golden french bread, you’ll find a thick, chunky blackberry sauce, laced with lemon zest and dried lavender, and a luscious layer of macadamia-based ricotta. The sweet and tart sauce is the perfect match for the salty and umami-flavored, vegan ricotta. It’s both classy and absolutely, succulently delicious. It’s the grilled cheese sandwich, all grown up.
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 slices of bread
- vegan butter
- macadamia ricotta
Combine the blackberries, water, lemon juice, agave syrup, cornstarch or arrowroot powder, lavender, lemon zest, and salt in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once, boiling, reduce to a simmer and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
Take 2 slices of bread and on the sides that will be facing outwards, spread a thin layer of vegan butter. On the sides that will be facing the inside of the sandwich: spread a layer of macadamia ricotta on one slice and some of the blackberry sauce on the other. Put the two slices together to form a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread and ingredients.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Place 1 to 2 sandwiches in the pan (however many will fit) and cook for a couple minutes on each side or until each side is golden and toasted. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately. Leftover sauce and cheese can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Enjoy!
If you make a fresh batch of macadamia ricotta for this recipe, you will have some leftover. You may have enough leftover blackberry sauce for 1 to 2 more sandwiches as well- you’ll just need more bread. Alternatively, you can use the cheese on salads, pizzas, or other sandwiches, and the blackberry sauce is great on top of waffles or pancakes or even swirled into a smoothie.
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