One word: yum

If you thought a toastie was basic, think again. And yes, these toastie recipes by Fern Green from her book Melts are as delicious as they look.

Vintage Cheddar, Bloody Mary Butter, Bacon & Rocket

toastie recipes

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10-15 minutes

Best bread brown sourdough

Ingredients

4 slices bacon

4 slices brown sourdough bread

120 g (41∕4 oz) vintage Cheddar, sliced

handful of rocket (arugula)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

bloody mary butter

4 tbsp butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

4 drops of Tabasco sauce

Method

This early morning hangover melt is the perfect cure.

Cook the bacon using your preferred method, until nice and crispy. Set aside.

To make the Bloody Mary Butter, mix 2 tablespoons of the butter in a bowl with the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Pop the Bloody Mary butter in the fridge and chill for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the remaining butter on one side of each slice of bread and lay them butter side down.

Spread the Bloody Mary butter on the unbuttered sides of the bread, then lay the cheese on 2 of the slices. Season, top with the bacon and rocket, and close the sandwiches with the remaining bread so that the Bloody Mary butter is on the inside and the plain buttered sides are facing out. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan (skillet) on a medium heat and transfer the sandwiches into the pan.

Cook for 3 minutes then flip them over and cook for a further 2–3 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crispy and golden. Alternatively, cook the sandwiches in a toasted sandwich maker or in a panini press if you have one.

Squeaky Cheese with Jalapeño & Mint

toastie recipes

Prep time 12 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Best bread white sourdough

Ingredients

60 g (21∕4 oz) halloumi

1 tbsp butter, at room temperature

2 slices white sourdough bread

small handful of spinach

1 tbsp chopped mint leaves

1 tbsp pickled jalapeño

Method

Halloumi is that famous squeaky Greek cheese, which adds a fantastic salty note to any sandwich.

You can griddle it first for flavour, as this cheese won’t ooze.

Cut the halloumi into 3 slices and dry fry it in a frying pan (skillet) or griddle pan over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side.

Spread the butter on one side of both slices of bread and lay them butter-side down. Lay the halloumi on one of the slices, then add the spinach, mint and jalapeños. Put the other slice of bread on top, with the butter side face up.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat, then transfer the sandwich into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, pressing down with a spatula to help the bread toast, then flip it over and cook for a further 3 minutes until the sandwich is golden and crispy.

Alternatively, cook the sandwich in a toasted sandwich maker or a panini press.

Cauliflower Waffles with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes & Cheese

toastie recipes

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Ingredients

250 g (83∕4 oz) cauliflower, grated

130 g (41∕2 oz/1 cup) grated firm

mozzarella

100 g (31∕2 oz/13∕4 cup) grated

mature Cheddar

60 g (21∕4 oz/12∕3 cup) grated

Parmesan

2 large eggs

1 spring onion (scallion), finely

chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp chopped chives

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

This takes the toasted sandwich to another level. Made without any bread, these crispy waffles with oozy cheese are a perfect gluten-free option, but everyone must try them at least once!

Put the grated cauliflower into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water, bring it to the boil and cook until the water evaporates.

The cauliflower pieces should be tender – if they’re still firm, add another tablespoon of water and cook this water off too.

Put 100 g (31∕2 oz) of the mozzarella into the bowl of a food processor, along with the cooked cauliflower, Cheddar, Parmesan, eggs, spring onion, mustard and herbs. Blend until smooth.

Heat up a waffle iron, then spoon in the batter, making sure not to overload it. Cook for about 8 minutes in an electric iron, or around 8 minutes on each side in a stovetop iron, until the

waffles are crisp and golden.

Meanwhile, heat the grill (broiler) to a high heat. Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with the sugar, drizzle over the olive oil and season. Grill for 10 minutes or until soft. Transfer the waffles to a plate and put the tomatoes on top of 2 of them.

Sprinkle over the rest of the mozzarella and gently press the other waffles down on top. Serve straight away.

Gouda & Kale

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes

Best bread white farmhouse

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, grated

2 generous handfuls of kale leaves, chopped

4 thick slices white farmhouse bread

120 g (41∕4 oz/11∕4 cups) grated Gouda

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

The king of green, kale deserves a place in a toastie, especially sandwiched with a good cheese like creamy Gouda. Kids can’t say no to a cheese sandwich, even if there is a bit of green.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the kale. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until the kale softens and wilts, stirring occasionally. Season and remove from the heat.

Brush one side of each slice of bread with the remaining olive oil and lay them oil-side down. Distribute the kale over 2 slices of the bread, sprinkle over the gouda and top with the remaining bread, oil-side up.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, then lay the sandwiches in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip them over and cook for a further 4 minutes until they are golden and crispy on the outside and the cheese has melted inside. Alternatively, cook the sandwiches in a toasted sandwich maker or panini press until golden and melted.

Extracted from Melts by Fern Green (Hardie Grant, £12.99) Photography © Jacqui Melville

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