Ode to the Caseus Grilled Cheese Truck

April  3, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Joey De Leo
  • Serves one
Author Notes

The best grilled cheese I’ve ever eaten was from the Caseus Cheese Truck in New Haven, CT. Golden, crispy sourdough bread, a mixture of melty cheeses, some good mustard, those little fancy pickles, and a glass-bottled Coke. Here’s my version. You can customize the cheapness of this sandwich to what’s in your cheese drawer. I happened to find some Gruyere, sharp cheddar and robiola that needed to be used up. I make this for the kids all the time, minus the sage leaves, with plain old yellow American cheese in the plastic wrappers. It’s got superior meltability. - mrslarkin —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

We tend to think of grilled cheese as comfort food at its simplest, but the little touches here -- a few sage leaves, a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano, a dollop of grainy Dijon and a garnish of bright little cornichons -- add up to a very sophisticated treat. Be sure to use the best sourdough you can find, and don't forget to wash it all down with an ice-cold bottle of Coke. - Kukharka —mitschlag

What You'll Need
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 ounces shredded or thinly sliced cheese of your choice (soft or semi-hard melty cheese only)
  • unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Parmigiano Reggiano, grated with a microplane grater
  • cornichons, or regular pickles
  • whole grain mustard
  1. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium/medium-low heat. Spread one side of bread with butter -- don't be shy. Press two sage leaves on the butter, and swipe the leaves with a little more butter so they adhere. Repeat with second slice of bread.
  2. Lay one slice of bread in hot pan, butter and sage side down. Place cheese on the bread in the pan. Top with second slice of bread, butter and sage side up. Grill for a few minutes. You’ll hear the butter start to sizzle. Carefully check bottom of sandwich; you’re looking for golden-brown.
  3. With a spatula, carefully flip the sandwich, and cook for another few minutes, again looking for golden-brown. Sprinkle the top of the sandwich with half of the Parmigiano, making sure to cover the sage leaves. Flip the sandwich back over and cook for a few seconds to crisp the Parmigiano. (Don’t leave it too long or the Parmigiano will burn.) Sprinkle the rest of the Parmigiano on the top slice and flip once more to crisp that side -- a few more seconds and you’re done!
  4. Serve with cornichons, or their cheaper cousin the dill pickle, mustard, and a cold glass-bottled Coke.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • wahini
  • WileyP
  • EmilyC
  • rachel waters
    rachel waters

46 Reviews

Karen B. February 21, 2015
Melty cheese on the inside, crispy cheese on the outside, crunchy sage leaves...what more could you ask for in a grilled cheese sandwich?
wahini March 31, 2014
At Trader Joe's--right now but not always--you can get a crumbly melty cheddar with bits of caramelized onions in it. You can also get--always--Asiago and pepper corn sour dough bread. Together these two make delightful grilled cheese sandwiches--or if you are in a hurry or cutting down on bread just toast one side of the bread, then barely toast the other side, add the grated or crumbled cheese , and broil until melted and golden. Yum.
WileyP September 23, 2012
Okay, so who in their right mind would put a whole sage leave on a sandwich and then fry it..much less FOUR of them! Well, I have had this recipe in my "to do" file for some time and I happened to notice that my sister has a sage plant that has grown out of control. So I stole a bunch, headed home and cooked one of these up for dinner last night. Well, kinda, anyway! After all, "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do," and if you don't have sourdough on hand, you use what you have. In my case it was Jewish Rye. That and some grated gouda as a filler. It was spactacular! I liked it so much, I'm going to stick a slice of pre-fried ham on it tonight and see if I end up with a new favorite sandwich! Thank you for yet another big-time winner recipe, mrslarkin!
mrslarkin September 23, 2012
Yup, that would be me, pushing the grilled cheese envelope. Hee! I'm so glad you liked it, WileyP! You're very welcome. Your ham idea sounds pretty darn good. Let us know how it turns out!
EmilyC September 11, 2012
Your crisper salad with grilled cheese croutons reminded me how much I've been wanting to try these. Made them tonight -- LOVE! Have a feeling I'll be making these a ton this fall and winter with soup (this dipped into butternut squash soup would be amazing) and salad. Thanks a million for the recipe.
mrslarkin September 11, 2012
thanks Emily! So glad you enjoyed it. Butternut squash soup - oh yes!
EmilyC October 8, 2012
Made these again last night to go along with butternut squash soup...divine!
mrslarkin October 8, 2012
Yummmm! Save me some; I'll be over soon. ;)
rachel W. September 11, 2012
Made this last night w/a few tweaks such as olive tapenade spread we had leftover from a party & switched out a coke for a seasonal pumpkin beer...DELISH! Thank you.
mrslarkin September 11, 2012
Yummm! That sounds so good. Hooray for pumpkin beer!
tylermmcdon August 21, 2012
Perfection. I'm going to have to make a pilgrimage to Caseus sometime soon, I think.
mrslarkin August 21, 2012
Thanks Tyler. It is seriously worth the schlep to New Haven!
Jenny C. March 10, 2014
the grilled cheese in the restaurant (Caseus cheese shop/bistro) is even better than from the truck. and you also have the choice of the world's greatest mac & cheese (bacon optional). some of us are lucky enough to live in the area and have the owner as an across the street neighbor!
deanna1001 August 20, 2012
Made this for dinner with a bowl of gazpacho on the side. I could've eaten at least three of them! Great recipe. Thanks!
mrslarkin August 20, 2012
You're welcome, deanna1001. Gazpacho sounds very yummy with this sandwich!
teamom August 19, 2012
Constructive criticism - one wants the sage flavour, but sage leaves are often just too tough to swallow. Think ahead - make a compound butter and use that. Even better - wrap a stick of butter in sage leaves, let it draw for a few days (or longer, for a stronger flavour), and use that to spread on the bread for a flavourful but more subtle effect. This method is used in France with rose petals - a vessel is lined with the leaves, the fresh butter is added, packed, and let draw. The butter often accompanies delicate pastries...
The butter freezes well.
When my kids were young, one way of getting them to eat "greens" was to bread or batter sage leaves. Crispy fried sage leaves (crumbed) would enhance this dish. Then serve fruit.
Jan S. August 19, 2012
I like your idea.
mrslarkin August 20, 2012
Yum! Great ideas.
AntoniaJames August 16, 2012
Love this recipe! I have never lived in New Haven, but have many friends, and my sons have many friends, who live or have lived there. From what I've heard, the Caseus Cheese Truck ranks up there, in a town with dozens of truly stellar food options, as one of the best. I've been making a lot of sourdough with my wild yeast levain this summer, and we have a cheese drawer full of interesting odds and ends, so these are on the lunch menu for Saturday! Congrats on the CP, mrsl! ;o)
mrslarkin August 16, 2012
Thank you very much, AJ! Your homemade sourdough will be amazing in this sandwich.

I think it's time for another New Haven road trip for my family! We pretty much go up there on an empty stomach, and then all hell breaks loose. ;)
lorigoldsby August 4, 2012
I meant to tell you that this sandwich made it into HEAVY rotation last fall! I used a truffle cheese...and my panini maker. Sometimes i added a couple of pieces of maple bacon. the sage was a wonderful compliment to that!
mrslarkin August 4, 2012
thanks Lori! truffle cheese sounds amazing! And mmmm...bacon!I love this sandwich and how the sage and cheese crisps up.
Nozlee S. July 23, 2012
Oof, I LOVE the Caseus truck! I will have to try this.
mrslarkin July 23, 2012
so very tasty, that truck! Good thing i don't live closer, or I'd be there every day.
mrslarkin June 8, 2011
Thanks, lapadia!
lapadia June 8, 2011
That's some photo, mrslarkin...Yum!
fiveandspice June 6, 2011
Mmmmmmmmmmm. Dream food!
mrslarkin June 6, 2011
Thanks 5&S!
ellenl June 5, 2011
My eyes popped, my mouth watered, and my stomach growled looking at the photo and reading the recipe/post!
mrslarkin June 5, 2011
Thanks, ellenl!
boulangere June 3, 2011
Grilled bread, melty cheese, doesn't get much better than that.
mrslarkin June 3, 2011
Thanks, boulangere.
gingerroot May 26, 2011
Late to this party, but LOVE!
mrslarkin May 26, 2011
thanks, gingerroot!
wssmom May 25, 2011
My kids will adore this!
mrslarkin May 25, 2011
Hee! I hope they like it!! Let me know what the verdict is.
Lizthechef May 22, 2011
Great photo - and now I'm definitely ready for lunch...
mrslarkin May 22, 2011
Thanks, Liz. Is this better than the lobster pictures?? ;)
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
I love everything about this, but the browned sage puts this over the moon. Yum.
mrslarkin May 22, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen.