Grilled Cheese with Apple Salad
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.
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. 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.