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Fontina & Leek Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

with Romaine, Cucumber & Radish Salad

Fontina & Leek Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Romaine, Cucumber & Radish Salad
Cook Time
30-40mins
Makes
2 Servings
Nutrition
Group 2
Est. 830 calories

These sophisticated grilled cheese sandwiches pair buttery Fontina cheese with another deliciously “melted” ingredient: leek. This French technique for slow-cooking vegetables turns the leek irresistibly tender and develops its delicate sweetness. A few sprigs of thyme, removed from the pan after cooking, lend their woodsy flavor to the filling. On the side, we’re tossing our crunchy romaine salad in a dressing inspired by sauce gribiche—another French favorite that combines finely chopped hard-boiled egg with piquant ingredients like mustard and vinegar.

Cook & peel the egg:
1 Cook & peel the egg:

Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, carefully add the egg and cook for exactly 11 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute to stop the cooking process. When cool enough to handle, carefully peel the cooked egg. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the egg cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic; smash with the side of your knife until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Trim off and discard the root and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek. Halve the leek lengthwise; thoroughly rinse between the layers with cold water. Thinly slice the leek crosswise. Thinly slice the cheese (discarding any rind). Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; cut in half crosswise. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact; thinly slice into rounds. Cut off and discard the ends of the radishes; thinly slice into rounds.

Make the melted leek:
3 Make the melted leek:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the leek and thyme sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the leek is slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water; cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the water has cooked off and the leek has softened. Discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the melted leek to a bowl. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Make the dressing:
4 Make the dressing:

While the leek cooks, using a fork, mash the peeled egg until crumbly. Stir in the vinegar, mustard and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble & cook the sandwiches:
5 Assemble & cook the sandwiches:

Place the bread slices on a work surface. Divide the cheese and melted leek between 2 of the bread slices; season with salt and pepper. Complete with the remaining bread slices. In the same pan, melt half the butter on medium until hot. Add the sandwiches and cook 2 to 4 minutes, on the first side, or until golden brown. Add the remaining butter and flip the sandwiches. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Transfer to a cutting board.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the romaine, cucumber and radishes; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the cooked sandwiches in half. Divide the sandwiches and salad between 2 dishes. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook & peel the egg:
1 Cook & peel the egg:

Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, carefully add the egg and cook for exactly 11 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute to stop the cooking process. When cool enough to handle, carefully peel the cooked egg. Transfer to a medium bowl.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the egg cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic; smash with the side of your knife until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Trim off and discard the root and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek. Halve the leek lengthwise; thoroughly rinse between the layers with cold water. Thinly slice the leek crosswise. Thinly slice the cheese (discarding any rind). Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; cut in half crosswise. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact; thinly slice into rounds. Cut off and discard the ends of the radishes; thinly slice into rounds.

Make the melted leek:
3 Make the melted leek:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the leek and thyme sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the leek is slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water; cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the water has cooked off and the leek has softened. Discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the melted leek to a bowl. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

4 Make the dressing:

While the leek cooks, using a fork, mash the peeled egg until crumbly. Stir in the vinegar, mustard and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the dressing:
Assemble & cook the sandwiches:
5 Assemble & cook the sandwiches:

Place the bread slices on a work surface. Divide the cheese and melted leek between 2 of the bread slices; season with salt and pepper. Complete with the remaining bread slices. In the same pan, melt half the butter on medium until hot. Add the sandwiches and cook 2 to 4 minutes, on the first side, or until golden brown. Add the remaining butter and flip the sandwiches. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Transfer to a cutting board.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the romaine, cucumber and radishes; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the cooked sandwiches in half. Divide the sandwiches and salad between 2 dishes. Enjoy!