Arugula Pesto Grilled Cheese

From Guest blogger: Katie Critchley
of The Farm at Agritopia

Listen to her podcast HERE

This sandwich, while being truly one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches, makes great use of large bunch of delicious fresh greens and any sweet cherry tomatoes you may have. We love to make this on our favorite local bread – Proof sour dough. Another local favorite we use often in our recipes is See Salt.


3-4 cups organic arugula
1/2 cup roasted walnuts
1 cup olive oil + 2 more Tablespoons
1 1/2 clove garlic (one left whole, 1/2 crushed)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup small organic cherry tomatoes
2 cups grated Fontina cheese or your favorite Italian blend cheese
8 slices of sour dough bread


First start by making the arugula pesto. You will be using 1 cup of the olive oil in the pesto. In a blender or food processor add 2 cups arugula, 1/2 of the walnuts, 1/2 cup of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Start the blender and allow the greens to begin breaking down. Add the remaining greens, 1 clove garlic and nuts. While the blender is going, drizzle in the remaining olive oil. Once the mixture is fully blended add the Parmesan cheese and salt. Blend briefly to incorporate. Taste for salt.

Heat an oven to 400º. In a bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until some have blistered and wilted slightly.

To assemble the sandwich – spread 1 tablespoons of pesto (per slice) to 2 slices of sour dough, layer one side with 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cheese and a few tomatoes per sour dough slice. Top with the other slice of sour dough, pesto side in. In a sauté pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and crushed garlic. Turn heat to medium. Add the sandwiches and cook until one side is golden brown, flip and cook the other side until golden (about 5 minutes per side).

Serve immediately. Makes about 4 grilled sandwiches with some pesto leftover.

About this author:

Katie is the Farm Director of The Farm at Agritopia and a long time resident of the nationally recognized and award winning  “agrihood” at Agritopia.   She is a founding board member of The Johnston Family Foundation for Urban Agriculture, which is committed to promoting and preserving Urban Agriculture throughout the State of Arizona.
She has also been a part of the development team at Johnston Properties maintaining and expanding their commercial holdings.  Her last role at Johnston Properties was co-project manager for the award winning craftsman community, Barnone located in Agritopia

How to reach Katie:

Instagram: @agritopiafarm
Facebook: @TheFarmAtAgritopia

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