Gruyère Shallots Grilled Cheese
Source: Bon Appétit
Makes 2 sandwiches
Notes: I did not make the apple salad, though next time I make this grilled cheese, I definitely will — it sounds like the perfect complement for such a sandwich. Also, I went with about 2 oz. of cheese per sandwich, though I can’t imagine 4 oz being so bad. Finally, I cooked the shallots on medium to medium-low heat, which allowed me not to have to stir constantly.
Update: I now brown the bread a little differently thanks to a tip left by Trina — thank you! — in the comments. These changes apply to step 2. First, I spread one half of each slice of bread I with mayonnaise — it doesn’t burn as easily as butter, and the bread browns evenly every time. Second, instead of using butter in the pan, I use about a tablespoon of grapeseed oil — the high smoke point prevents it from burning. Butter, of course, works, but this is my preferred method these days.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-thick sliced shallots
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style white bread
8 ounces Gruyère, (I used Comté) sliced 1/8-inch thick
2 cups arugula
1/2 apple (such as Pink Lady or Fuji), cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over high heat. (Note: I cooked my shallots over medium to medium-low heat.) When butter begins to foam, add shallots and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring continuously (or, if the heat is on a lower temperature, stir every so often) with a wooden spoon or spatula, until shallots begin to soften and caramelize, 4–5 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. (Note: Try hard to refrain from spooning all of the shallots into your mouth. They are incredibly delicious, but especially delicious atop melted cheese.)
2. (See notes above re using mayonnaise and grapeseed oil vs. butter.) Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, add 1 Tbsp. butter and swirl in pan to melt butter and coat bottom of pan. Add 2 slices of bread to pan and cook until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, 2–3 minutes. Transfer bread, toasted side down, to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining butter and bread slices. Divide cheese evenly among bread slices; top cheese with reserved shallots.
3. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until cheese is melted, 7–8 minutes.
4. Combine arugula, apple slices, lemon juice, and oil in a large bowl; toss to coat and evenly distribute. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Press 2 pieces of bread together, melted cheese sides in; halve sandwich on a diagonal and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining bread slices. Divide salad between plates.