Grilled Cheese, Egg and Tomato Panini with Basil Mayo

I won. I won. I won!

I won a recipe contest sponsored by Jarlsberg cheese.

No one ever expects to win these things, but I actually won!

What a thrill! They sent me so many wonderful gifts: a big apron, tablecloth, cold pack tote bag, gorgeous ceramic cheese board, cheese plane, cutting board and thumbnail drive for my computer (with a pretty Jarslberg holder).

PLUS: a 22 pound wheel of Jarlsberg cheese. You can see it in the second photo.

That’s a lot of cheese.

Thank you Jarlsberg! 

Here’s how it all came about: I saw the contest and remembered an event from my childhood that inspired me to create a sandwich using Jarlsberg cheese. 

The event was that when I was a kid I had a friend whose Mom was very strict and forced me to eat Swiss cheese and tomato sandwich when I went there for lunch.

I hated that sandwich but I was really afraid of her, especially because she’d stand over us, watching us eat, with her arms folded in front of her and a snarl on her face.

We moved away. I never saw my friend again.

I didn’t eat Swiss cheese for years. 

Years later I discovered Jarlsberg cheese. My Dad loved it and bought it all the time. And I noticed that although it is similar to Swiss cheese in some ways, it is milder, nuttier and much more to my liking.

Would it be good in a sandwich? The kind of sandwich I once hated? I tried it. No one watching me this time.

MUCH better!

And even better when hot, grilled like a panini.

I added a couple of extra taste bits like fresh basil and mayo, plus an egg.

It was SO good I entered it into the contest.

Here’s the link to the contest:                                                                                                                 

Grilled Cheese, Egg and Tomato Panini with Basil Mayo

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 4 slices multi grain bread
  • 4 ounces Jarlsberg cheese
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Heat the 2 teaspoons butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the eggs to the pan. Cook without stirring for 30-45 seconds, then flip the egg over and cook another 30-45 seconds or until cooked through. Cut the cooked egg into quarters and set aside. Mix the mayonnaise and basil together. Spread equal amounts of the mayonnaise on each slice of bread. Top two of the slices with equal amounts of cheese and tomato. Place two egg quarters on top of the tomato. Cover with second piece of bread. Heat half the remaining tablespoon butter in the sauté pan over low-medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, place the sandwiches in the pan. Place another, heavier pan on top. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the bottoms are crispy-brown. Remove the heavier pan, lift the sandwiches with a spatula and place them on a dish or cutting board. Add the remaining butter to the pan. When the butter has melted, add the sandwiches on the uncooked side and weight the sandwiches down with the heavier pan. Cook for another minute or so until second side is golden brown.

Makes 2 servings