In the heart of central London is the historic Borough Market. An indoor/ outdoor food market filled with more than 100 stalls. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit this landmark, and my favorite stall by far was Neal’s Yard Dairy for cheese. Although US immigration prohibits bringing cheeses and agriculture into the US, it made for the perfect in-flight picnic on our journey home. We had a fine feast with crusty bread, a hunk of hard cheese and a tart, freshly made quince paste!
On my mind from the minute I got home, was creating a sandwich with similar fresh ingredients. This ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich is filled with sharp cheddar cheese, sweet fig jam and thinly sliced fresh Anjou pears.
- 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 slices of fresh rustic Italian or French bread
- 2 tablespoons of fig jam or quince paste
- 4 ounces of cheese, thinly sliced – cheeses that melt well are Gruyere, Cheddar, and Swiss
- 1/2 of a firm but slightly ripe pear, thinly sliced
Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet or panini press to medium-high heat. Spread the butter on one side of all four slices of bread. Turn over the slices and spread the fig jam or quince paste on the other side. Add the cheese, the sliced pear and then more cheese. Lay the other slice of bread over the cheese and pear, with the butter side facing up.
Lay the two sandwiches on the skillet or the panini press. Close the lid, or if using a skillet, cover with a heat-proof plate. Flip sandwich if using a skillet when the cheese starts to melt. Lower the heat and let the cheese continue to melt. Be careful not to let the bread burn. Serves 2.