Garden Grilled Cheese

Sep 5th

It seems every time I decide a restaurant is my favorite, it closes.

From my earliest obsession, The Gravity Bar in Seattle, which served the most amazing fresh wraps and killer garlic wheat grass shots – to the ultimate vegan cafe, Plum Cafe (not to be confused with it’s uppity big sister, Plum Bistro) to the most unassuming awesome gem known as Eats Market. All had something special to me. And all died a tragic death, leaving a hole where my once regular menu item occupied my foodie psyche.  Sigh.

It was this last restaurant, Eats Market, the most recently haunted me. Traveling off Vashon Island last week I was tired and it was getting late. I didn’t want to cook. I just wanted something satisfying now. However, eating out is pretty much always dilemma. I don’t eat fast food, I don’t eat industrial meat (which pretty much renders me a vegetarian when I eat out) and I don’t like boring American-style food.

Eats Market had the perfect solution; a simple menu with scrumptious sandwiches and fresh salads. My favorite? A twist on the classic grilled cheese. Sharp chedder, green apples and tomato slices mingled together atop rosemary speckled bread. The ingredients are oh-so simple, but the taste was transcendental. Comfort food indeed, but comfort food that didn’t leave me feeling heavy or ashamed.

So this weekend I set out to make my own copy-cat version. My husband, Todd, had purchased two chunks of beechers cheeese on a whim. Now was my opportunity.

Here’s how to make your own…

Ingredients:

  • 1 chunk good quality sharp cheddar, sliced
  • 1 large, ripe tomato (garden fresh is best)
  • 1 granny smith apples, thinly sliced
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary, roughly diced
  • 4 slices hearty bread (I used Olivia’s Superfree multi grain bread)
  • Butter
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

  • Heat a skillet up on medium-high
  • Butter one side of each slice of bread
  • When skillet is hot, place butter-side of bread down (you can cook two at a time in a large skillet, or cook one at a time in a smaller)
  • Layer cheese on bread slice(s) in the skillet
  • Cover and cook until cheese is melted
  • Top melted cheese with sliced tomatoes, apples and sprinkle with rosemary
  • Crack pepper over toppings and place second piece of bread on top, butter side up
  • Flip sandwich and grill until the second side is toasted

Remove sandwich from skillet and cut in half. Server on a plate with pickle spears. I dare you not to eat two!