Grilled Cheddar Sandwich with Spring Allium

April 26, 2012
Author Notes

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

  • Serves makes on sandwich
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, fine dice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small leek, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
In This Recipe
  1. Mix together the various allium and set aside 1 cup of the mixture.
  2. Mix together the various allium and set aside 1 cup of the mixture.
  3. Pile on the cheese, then the allium.
  4. Place the second piece of bread, buttered side up, on top of the filling.
  5. Heat the skillet on medium high until you can feel the heat on your hand 5 inches above the pan.
  6. Place the sandwich into the skillet and set your timer to 4 minutes.
  7. Press down lightly with the lid
  8. Flip, turn the heat a little lower, and again, press down lightly with the lid for another 4 minutes.
  9. Remove from the skillet.
  10. Slice on the diagonal, and prepare to feel your senses experience nirvana as you take your first bite.
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