On the menu at Cafe Omi where I am one of four chefs who rotate the weekends of the month, is the grilled cheese sandwich that makes your eyes roll back and your senses swoon. It is the “Grilled Shelburne Cheddar Sandwich with Various Allium”. This addictive sandwich keeps you thinking about it and craving it long after you have swallowed the last bite. It is like an encounter with a stranger, locked eyes on the sidewalk, rapture with a lover. You want more and it feels sinful and delicious, and when you are alone you make another and don’t tell anyone. A friend passed it along to me where she first tasted its better than sex appeal in a French flea market.
I use Shelburne raw cheddar from Vermont, but Montgomery cheese is even better. If you can’t find either, any sharp white cheddar or your favorite variety will do.
If you don’t have all sorts of allium on hand, then use what you have available.
If you have a panini griddle you are best off, but a cast iron skillet with a lid to hold the top piece of bread down while it cooks is more than adequate.
—Crow Hill Robin
Test Kitchen Notes
This sandwich is a delicious twist on a classic. I loved how the variety of spring alliums produced both a sweet and savory filling. The cooking time (8 minutes) is a bit longer than your standard grilled cheese and gives the alliums a chance to soften and their flavors to meld together with the sharp cheese. Use good bread and don't skimp on the butter - this sandwich will be a staple in our house each spring! —meganvt01