Don’t you find that tomatoes and basil are the gifts that keep on giving? These days I serve them as often as I can with nary a complaint.

When Working Girl was younger she refused to touch tomatoes because she said they tasted like grass. (Why yes, they do, they taste of sun and soil and God’s green earth to be exact!)

When College Girl was younger she also refused to eat tomatoes, saying they tasted nothing like apples, which to her was what red fruit was supposed to taste like. (True, they do not taste like apples – I really had no response for this one!)   

At some point their younger brother opened their minds. To this day he rubs cut slices of tomato over scrambled eggs, discarding the tomato slices after he has pressed all the juice out of them.

One day they tried it. The rest is history. Basil was easier. Those little green flecks are darn near impossible to pick out of your food! Not that they didn’t try sometimes…

So we are soaking up the tomatoes and basil while we can! And this grilled cheese is one of the ways we like best. Basil pesto stirred into mayo. Thick slices of garden tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Then bring on mild provolone and rustic Italian bread to finish it up.

I tell them it is a grown-up grilled cheese. And it is.

Gather Up:
½ cup fresh basil pesto
½ cup mayonnaise
Sliced provolone cheese
Sliced garden tomatoes, seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper
Large rustic Italian loaf, sliced
Olive oil

Combine the pesto and the mayonnaise. Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Heat a skillet over medium heat.

On the other side of the bread spread the pesto mayonnaise.

Lay the olive oil side down in the pan and add a slice of cheese, then the tomato slices and then another slice of cheese. You get the idea…

Toast and flip in the pan until, well, toasty.

Slice and enjoy!