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Chopped Thyme Culinary Innovation


Recipe courtesy of Recipe courtesy of Grant Morgan, Chef/Founder of Chopped Thyme Culinary Innovation.
Sponsor: California Milk Advisory Board

Servings: 24


Basil Purée:

  • 8 ounces basil leaves, stems removed
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Basil Aïoli:

  • 4 cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Basil Purée
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 2 ½ cups olive oil
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  • 3 pounds Real California Hispanic-style manchego cheese, grated
  • 48 thick cut slices brioche bread
  • 1 ½ pounds Real California unsalted butter
  • 6 cups baby kale leaves
  • 6 pounds thinly sliced roasted turkey
  • 48 thick slices tomato
  • 12 avocados, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/4 inch slices
  • 96 slices thick Applewood smoked bacon, cooked crisp


To prepare the Basil Purée

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the basil leaves for 20 seconds
  2. Transfer leaves to an ice water bath for a few seconds
  3. Drain and pat dry with towels
  4. Place basil, oil and salt in food processor and blend until completely puréed.

To prepare the Basil Aïoli

Whisk together mayonnaise, ½ cup Basil Purée, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in stainless bowl until thoroughly mixed.

To prepare the Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey and salt in stainless bowel until thoroughly mixed.

To prepare Sandwich

  1. Evenly spread 1 ounce grated manchego cheese the size of the bread slices on a flat top griddle heated to 350°F
  2. Place the bread slice on top and gently press down. Cook until cheese is light brown and a little crispy. Repeat with second piece of bread and 1 ounce grated cheese.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons butter on griddle and using spatula spread out evenly. Flip both bread slices onto melted butter to brown and crisp the sides without cheese. Remove bread to serving plate.
  4. Evenly spread 2 tablespoons Basil Aïoli on the butter toasted sides of bread.
  5. Toss ¼ cup baby kale leaves with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette and arrange evenly over 1 side of bread.
  6. Top kale with 4 ounces turkey.
  7. Place 2 slices tomato on top of turkey and lay 4 slices avocado over tomatoes.
  8. Lay 4 slices bacon across avocado then top with second bread slice with cheese toasted side out. Slice at angle before serving.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley & Bree Williams


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