Friday, March 11, 2011

Sage Fontina Grilled Cheese with Pickled Red Grapes

I  found the recipe for Sage Fontina Grilled Cheese with Spiced Zante Grapes while I was flipping through a copy of  The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Restaurant by Judy Rodgers.  I quickly found myself on a mission to try this curious combination.  I found beautiful small red grapes at the market the following day and raced home to prepare the pickles.  A little over a week latter, I was all set and just waiting for a meal when everyone is eating at different times. 
Finally, tonight it was dinner for one and I couldn't wait another minute.  The fontina married well with the sage oil, and the pickled grapes were a fabulous contrast.    This would also make a great appetizer/cheese course, small triangles of crunchy, gooey cheese sandwiches with a single small bunch of spiced grapes.  Yum. 
Update--  My husband loved the sandwich, but didn't like the grapes at all.  To be fair, he is not a big fan of pickles  . . .

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Recipe for: Sage Fontina Grilled Cheese

Serves: 2

12 sage leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices of rustic bread
4 ounces Fontina cheese, sliced thin or grated

Add the olive oil and pepper to small microwave cup.   Heat at medium until just warm (30 sec on power 6 for my microwave). Add roughly chopped sage and set aside. 
Heat up Panini press. Brush outside of bread slices with sage oil.  Mound with cheese and top with bread.  Cook until cheese has melted and the bread is nice and golden.
If you don’t have Panini press, stack sandwiches, press with heavy pot for 10-15 minutes, brush outer surfaces with oil and grill in nonstick pan until brown and melty.

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