I think I should introduce you guys to another one of my favorite staples: grilled cheese sandwiches. They’re just like oats—the perfect testing ground for all sorts of crazy flavors (and what’s not to like about melted cheese and bread?) Carbs are the perfect base for so many delicious recipes! I have plenty of other grilled cheese recipes that I hope to share throughout the winter, (because soup + grilled cheese = winter bliss) but for right now, I’ll start off with a cozy end-of-summer recipe that seems just perfect as these evenings begin to get cooler. Tangy apples, smoky cheese, peppery arugula, sweet honey, and savory thyme ooze together in this fall flavor bomb—after one bite, you’ll be craving autumn just like I am! Good bread is the secret to this grilled cheese. Our local bakery, Stick Boy Bread Co., never disappoints, and I made this grilled cheese on their cranberry apple pumpkin seed French bread with a bowl of their tomato basil soup—the perfect blend of fall and summer!
For the apples, I used jonacrisps, which remind me of tart honey crisps. However, honey crisps would work as well, though you may want to go lighter on the honey since they are already sweet. I had never tried jonacrisps before I went to the farmer’s market, but the farmer who was selling them let me try one, and I fell in love with the tart, nippy flavor! It makes me feel like I just picked it from a wild apple tree in the middle of the forest. If you have never tried jonacrisps, definitely give them a shot—they’re beautifully colored, a bit tart, a bit sweet, and super crisp and crunchy. So good!
I also got my arugula from the farmer’s market, but funny story: I actually forgot to put the arugula on when I cooked it, so I popped it on between the apples after I took the picture! I liked it better with the arugula to give it that peppery, fresh taste—the temperatures still feels like summer, after all! Enjoy this lovely comfort recipe, and let’s hope that it might usher in some cooler weather for more grilled cheese posts!
Ingredients (serves 1)
- Olive oil or butter
- Two slices sourdough or French bread
- 1/3 to 1/2 jonacrisp (or honey crisp) apple, thinly sliced
- Handful of arugula
- 3 to 4 sprigs of thyme
- A few slices of white cheddar
- A few slices of smoked gouda
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon maple syrup (for drizzling)
- Other ideas: toasted walnuts, fennel fronds, smoked paprika, toasted pumpkin seeds
- Place half the cheese on a slice of bread. Add apple, thyme, arugula, and a drizzle of honey. Place the rest of the cheese on top and the other slice of bread
- Heat oil or butter in a medium skillet. Place sandwich in skillet and cook for 1-3 minutes per side, pressing lightly with a spatula to help melt the cheese
- Remove from heat, cut in half, and enjoy!