Everything's better with cheese. I feel so strongly about that statement it almost seems worthy of a bumper sticker adhered to the back of my van.
Let's think about it. Pasta topped with cheese? Brilliant. Bread and cheese? An almost perfect, simple dinner. Apple and cheddar? Been serving pie lovers well for years. Jam and cheese? A favourite sandwich filling for a few kids I know. Wine and cheese? Too good to be true. How about salad and cheese? For me an almost essential component. And I know I'm not alone.
For my kids, cheese is a little different. One loves it so much he was once gifted a bag of assorted cheeses for his sixth birthday (I kid you not) and the other boy can only enjoy it when it graces the top of a pizza or is stuffed in the occasional grilled cheese.
It was a recent grilled cheese lunch that inspired this salad. If cheese tastes so good in salad and when paired in bread, wouldn't it all go well together? And maybe, I thought, it might help me to get the boys to eat a little more salad, which still doesn't rank high on their list of preferred foods. Guess what? I was right. The grilled cheese salad was a success. Well, mostly. I used a smidgen of balsamic dressing and they gently reminded me that they don't like salad with flavour. But they liked the salad. A lot. We added a few slices of chopped apple but I'm thinking that if this was served for a nice meal the cheese would be a creamy brie and the salad could include pancetta or grapes. Yum.
I may just need to invest in that bumper sticker after all.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
Make a crispy, browned grilled cheese sandwich with your favourite bread. Allow to cool completely and cut into croutons. Add to your favourite dressed salad and toss gently to combine.