I’m pretty sure that I’ve never met a grilled cheese sandwich I didn’t like. But there are definitely levels of grilled cheese. There’s the traditional comfort food of Kraft singles on white bread. There are tricked out grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, avocado or pepperoni. There are sweet versions, like my Brie and fig jam one.
This one lands in the craveable category. It takes advantage of nutty, mild Gruyere for a creamy cheese option. I used the light, airy milk bread that’s ubiquitous here in Japan, but this would be equally delicious on whole grain, sourdough, wheat or whatever you like best. The really special elements, though, are a few leaves of sage fried in butter and a quick rub down with a clove of garlic. They take this Gruyere grilled cheese sandwich from really good to outstanding.
They’re so good that they don’t even need a soup, but I recently served this with a cold-weather version a tomato soup and it was a huge hit. I roasted the now-out-of-season-tomatoes with garlic and rosemary, then added a touch of cream to make it hearty and soul-warming. Check back for the soup recipe later this week! It was fantastic with this sandwich, but it would pair nicely with any grilled cheese, or would be delicious just as an appetizer on its own.
- 4 slices of your favorite bread
- 3 oz Gruyere cheese, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
- 8 sage leaves, washed and dried
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon of butter, softened or at room temperature
- If you have an electric skillet, preheat it to 350 degrees. If using a cast iron skillet, heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Butter both sides of the bread slices with the 1 tablespoon of butter. Toast 1 side of each of the slices of bread on the skillet until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Swipe both sides of the sage leaves through the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter so that they're coated in the butter.
- Place 2 pieces of bread on a cutting board or plate with the toasted side down. Press 2 sage leaves into each piece of bread, using the butter to "glue" it to the outside of the bread. Place the bread on the skillet with the sage side down and the toasted side facing up.
- Divide the cheese between the two slices of bread. Top with the other pieces of buttered bread, with the toasted side on the inside and the un-toasted side facing up. Toast until the bottom slices are golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
- When the bottoms are golden, use the butter to "glue" the remaining sage leaves to the top of the sandwiches (the un-toasted side). Use a spatula to flip the sandwich and toast the final side until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Remove from the heat.
- Slice the garlic in half at its thickest point. Gently rub the cut-edge of the clove on each side of the sandwiches to give them a hint of garlic flavor. Cut the sandwiches into quarters and serve with creamy roasted tomato and rosemary soup (recipe coming tomorrow!).
- I like to toast both sides of my bread, but you can skip step #2 and only toast 1 side if you prefer.
- Makes enough for 2 sandwiches.