Grilled Fontina & Fig Jam Sandwiches with Endive, Basil & Almond Salad

Grilled Fontina & Fig Jam Sandwiches

with Endive, Basil & Almond Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 25 min
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 800 Cals/serving

With their rich, densely sweet complexity, figs are the perfect candidate for a quick homemade jam. Simmered with a bit of honey, verjus (the tangy juice of young grapes) and a bay leaf for aromatic depth, the delectable jam is the star in our grilled cheese sandwiches made with buttery Fontina cheese. Delicate endive leaves and a little basil make for an elegant salad that cuts through the dish’s richness with pleasantly bitter and herbal flavors.

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any woody stems from the figs; small dice the figs. Cut off and discard any rind from the Fontina cheese; thinly slice the cheese. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Cut off and discard the root ends of the endives; separate the leaves. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel, halve and thinly slice the shallot. Place half the sliced shallot in a bowl with the juice of all 4 lemon wedges.

Make the fig jam:
2 Make the fig jam:

In a small pot, combine the figs, verjus, honey, bay leaf, remaining shallot and ½ cup of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat. Carefully remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the lemon zest; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool for at least 2 minutes.

Make the vinaigrette:
3 Make the vinaigrette:

While the fig jam cooks, season the shallot-lemon juice mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until well combined.

Assemble the sandwiches:
4 Assemble the sandwiches:

Place the bread slices on a clean, dry work surface. Divide the cheese, fig jam and half the basil between 2 of the bread slices; season with salt and pepper. Complete the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.

Cook the sandwiches:
5 Cook the sandwiches:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sandwiches and cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until the bread is browned and the cheese has melted. (If the pan seems dry, add up to 2 teaspoons of olive oil before flipping the sandwiches.) 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 endives, almonds and remaining basil (tearing just before adding); season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette). 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!

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1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any woody stems from the figs; small dice the figs. Cut off and discard any rind from the Fontina cheese; thinly slice the cheese. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Cut off and discard the root ends of the endives; separate the leaves. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel, halve and thinly slice the shallot. Place half the sliced shallot in a bowl with the juice of all 4 lemon wedges.

2 Make the fig jam:

In a small pot, combine the figs, verjus, honey, bay leaf, remaining shallot and ½ cup of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat. Carefully remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the lemon zest; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool for at least 2 minutes.

3 Make the vinaigrette:

While the fig jam cooks, season the shallot-lemon juice mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until well combined.

4 Assemble the sandwiches:

Place the bread slices on a clean, dry work surface. Divide the cheese, fig jam and half the basil between 2 of the bread slices; season with salt and pepper. Complete the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.

Assemble the sandwiches:
Cook the sandwiches:
5 Cook the sandwiches:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sandwiches and cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until the bread is browned and the cheese has melted. (If the pan seems dry, add up to 2 teaspoons of olive oil before flipping the sandwiches.) Transfer to a cutting board.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the endives, almonds and remaining basil (tearing just before adding); season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette). 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!