I love cheese, I love bread, I love lots of molten cheese sandwiched between two slices of crispy, buttery bread. Deeeeelicious.
But, at the same time, there’s nothing that slows me down quite like cheese. If I eat a decent amount of it then I’ll be feeling anywhere from sluggish to in a food coma within an hour, which is fine occasionally, but it’s not exactly ideal when you’ve got things to do and places to be!
Out of a desire to get that grilled cheese fix mid-week and still be able to get back to work in the afternoon I came up with this courgette grilled cheese. It maintains the cheesy, gooey integrity of a good grilled cheese without being as heavy – plus it counts as one of your five a day!
Courgette and cheese work really well together, both in terms of flavour and texture. The moisture content of the courgette means that when it’s combined with the cheese and everything melts together you’ve got a lovely, gooey filling that is perfect for a grilled cheese.
What cheese should I use?
I always have a block of sharp cheddar in the fridge, so that’s what I use when I’m fixing myself a grilled cheese. But any cheese you enjoy that melts will do the trick. Get fancy and combine different types of cheeses! And if you want to make this recipe vegan just sub in your favourite type of vegan cheese.
What bread is best for grilled cheese?
I would recommend a sturdier bread for this recipe. For a standard grilled cheese I think any bread you have in will work fine (it’s kind of hard to go wrong with bread and cheese, right?), but the courgette in this recipe does mean the filling will be more wet. For that reason, you want a bread that’ll stand up to it, so I wouldn’t go for a cheap white sandwich loaf for fear of it getting soggy. Sourdough is my favoured option.
Tricks to a good courgette grilled cheese
Here are a few tips for making a really good grilled cheese:
- After grating the courgette wring out as much liquid as you can.
- Make sure the sides of the bread making contact with the pan are covered completely in a thin layer of butter, this makes for more even toasting than adding the butter to the pan.
- Use a good melting cheese.
- Ensure the temperature isn’t too high – medium/low is best to avoid the bread burning.
Courgette grilled cheese
- 1small to medium courgette, grated
- 1small clove garlic, minced
- 30grams cheddar cheese, grated
- 1tbsp butter
- Grate the courgette and wring out as much liquid as possible. Either use a tea towel or place in a sieve over the sink and use your hands.
- Add the courgette to a frying pan on medium heat as well as the garlic and a little salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes until more moisture has been cooked off and bits are starting to stick to the pan.
- Remove the courgette from the pan and add to a bowl with the grated cheese and mix together. At this point give your pan a quick rinse or wipe with a paper towel to get rid of any excess courgette and return it to the heat, which should be medium/low.
- Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread, ensuring complete coverage.
- Add the mixture to the unbuttered side of one slice of bread and top with the other.
- Place the sandwich on the pan and cook on each side for a few minutes until golden brown. The cheese will already have melted due to the hot courgette, so you're not relying on the heat of the pan to melt the cheese, but you do want the bread nicely toasted and hot right through.
- Remove from the pan, cut in half and enjoy!