Apples aptly accompany cheese-centered dishes

Don’t count out the pumpkin yet. It’s bound to rear its head before autumn’s close.

But fall’s flagship fruit is at its peak of greenish, golden, russet glory. A glossary of apple varieties awaits in this week’s A la Carte, which also features both sweet and savory dishes using the fruit.

At our house, of course, apples are most often eaten raw and sliced, an obvious seasonal snack for the kids or a practically effortless accompaniment to grilled cheese or macaroni and cheese — or anything else with cheese.

That flavor combination still finds plenty of favor with our household’s adults, who admittedly appreciate a more sophisticated take on grilled cheese. This sandwich from the Chicago Tribune enhances the fruit’s tartness with mustard’s tang, enriched with complex Gruyere cheese.

Tribune News Service photo


1/4 of a tart apple, cored, skin on

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 slices sourdough bread

4 teaspoons salted butter, softened

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

Slice the apple into matchsticks. A mandoline makes quick work of this job. In a bowl, toss apple with the thyme.

Spread 1 side of each slice of the bread with half of the butter. Flip and spread other side of each slice with half of the mustard.

Sprinkle half of the cheese over each mustard face, pressing cheese in gently. Heap on apple/thyme mix. Close up sandwich.

If you have a panini maker, use that. Otherwise, heat a ridged griddle pan over medium heat. Lacking a griddle, use a medium skillet. Set sandwich onto griddle (or skillet), top with something heavy (say, another skillet) and cook until bread is toasty and cheese has melted, for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, weight and toast second side.

Slice sandwich in half. Munch.

Makes 1 sandwich.

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  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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