The Forbidden Sandwich: Broccoli Grilled Cheese

By 300 Sandwiches

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E has left me.

For vacation, not, like, forever.

My techie Han Solo successfully launched that app he was working so hard on the past few months. His project with the client ended, and E was on a plane bound for Brazil the second after the last round of “thanks for your service/we’ll miss you” Johnnie Walker Blacks were purchased at his good-bye work gathering (E is not one for snacking on store-bought cupcakes in the conference room for one of those totally awkward congratulatory office parties).

E is a ridiculously adventurous type, so he headed for the northern Brazil beach town of Jericoacoara for two weeks of kite surfing, sun, beach and caipirinhas. Lucky for me, I get to join E in Brazil. Unlucky for me, though, that I work for “the man,” so I only have a designated amount of vacation days. That number doesn’t allow for more than a week down south, so I’ll meet him next week.

Meanwhile, I have the house to myself! I can eat peanut butter straight out of the jar! I can pee with the bathroom door open! I can wear my nasty, torn college t-shirts and oversized grey sweatpants to bed! I have left not one dish in the sink–I took care of those by pre-washing them until they appeared almost clean and then aligning the cups, plates and bowls in the dishwasher all grouped together facing the same way. And I vacuumed and took out the trash and did laundry and now the whole apartment is one crumb-free, dust-free, dirt-free palace!!!

I have also taken over the refrigerator. This week, I am cooking sandwiches with all of the foods that E despises. First up: BROCCOLI. Which, I’ll remind you, he calls the “devil’s vegetable.” Well, I love broccoli! I have since I was a kid! I love it with cheddar cheese sauce, with stir fry, in fajitas, soups and stews… I consider it a necessary vegetable! Am I really supposed to divorce it from my entire diet just because my broccoli hating boyfriend and I share a kitchen?

Tonight, I treated myself to a broccoli grilled cheese sandwich. I sauteed up some broccoli with garlic and olive oil, threw that in a bowl with a smidge of mayo and shredded monterey jack, hit it with pepper and a bit of tabasco, and we’ve got dinner.

“It doesn’t count! it doesn’t count!” E said on phone his first night in Brazil. Doesn’t matter–I loved eating it off of my shiny white plate in front of the television, savoring each bite while I watched “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on television.

That’s right, banned reality television will also be partaken of this week.

1 cup broccoli, chopped into pieces
2 slices bread (I used regular ol’ country white bread)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cheese of your choosing (I used shredded monterey jack)
salt and pepper to taste
tabasco to taste

Sautee the chopped broccoli in a medium saucepan with the olive oil and garlic until the broccoli is tender, stirring frequently about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in bowl with mayonnaise and shredded cheese. Stir together. Then spread butter on one side of both slices of bread. With the butter side down facing plate, spread broccoli cheese mixture on one side of one slice. Top with the other slice, butter side up, and toast in pan until bread is golden brown. Makes one sandwich. Yep, just one. For me. Ha! (You want two? Just double the recipe.)

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