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October 20 2010 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Recipe,Sandwich » 28 comments

Grilled Apple & Cheese with Sage Pesto

In the winter, I generally gravitate toward comfort foods.  In spring, I look forward to the first’s: asparagus, strawberries, radishes.  In the summer, I’m usually too busy to think much about food—just a juicy tomato, sprinkled with salt and pepper, will do.  In the fall, though, it’s different.  In the fall, I crave.  In the fall, I stop dead in my tracks and I say to myself: I must, right this minute, right now, not one minute more, grill a sandwich, a grilled cheese sandwich, which, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of all sandwiches.

Grilled Apple & Cheese with Sage PestoGrilled Apple & Cheese with Sage Pesto

But it’s fall—the season of specific, urgent cravings—so it doesn’t stop there.  Oh, no. Instead, the cheese must be cheddar: white and very sharp, or smoked at the very least.  There must be thinly sliced apples, too, sweet and crunchy ones (honeycrisp!).  And, of course, autumn is the season for seeded wheat breads, so the vehicle for this sandwich will be two slices of that.  Not just a grilled cheese, but a grilled-apple-and-cheese.  Because it’s autumn, you know.

Grilled Apple & Cheese with Sage Pesto

But last Sunday, after a jog in the brisk morning chill and before an afternoon of football, this craving was, if you can believe it, even more precise.  Not just cheddar.  Not just honeycrisps.  Not just a seeded boule.  No.

Grilled Apple & Cheese with Sage Pesto

There would be sage pesto, too.  Or, at least, a sage pesto of sorts: a slap-dash spread, thrown together in the bowl of a food processor—just velvety sprigs of sage, fragrant in a way that whispers fall; hazelnuts, skins and all; a pinch of coarse salt; a splotch of grainy mustard; olive oil,  poured in via a steady stream as the whole thing spins beneath the food processor’s blade.

Grilled Apple & Cheese with Sage Pesto

That pesto—nay, spread—gets slathered on slices of the seeded boule.  Onto that is stacked a pile of the thickly-sliced sharp cheddar and those thinly-sliced apples.  All of that is grilled to melting-ness.  It’s fall in a sandwich and it’s exactly what I had in mind, right that minute, last Sunday.

Grilled Apple-and-Cheese Sandwich with Sage Pesto

Yield: 1 sandwich

2 slices multi-grain bread
slathering of sage pesto or sage spread (as described, loosely, in the post above)
1/2 sweet, crunch apple (such as honeycrisp), sliced thinly
handful of thick slices of sharp cheddar

Heat a skillet or grill pan.  Slather both pieces of the bread with the sage spread.  Pile once slice of the sage-spread bread with the cheese and apples, and cover with the other sage-slathered slice of bread.  Grill the sandwiches over medium heat, until the cheese is melted, flipping once, to toast both pieces of bread.

28 comments so far. »
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  1. rebecca says on October 20 2010 at 8:13 pm:

    I’m right there with you on fall cravings. At 11pm last week I baked up some spiced persimmon cookies, I just had to have them.

    This looks divine… and the sage pesto– such a good idea.

  2. Katie @ Life... Discombobulated says on October 20 2010 at 8:16 pm:

    My, oh my. I think this beautiful creation has inspired me… I have some homemade mid-summer pesto waiting for me in my freezer and this weekend, it will come out to play! :)

  3. Janae says on October 20 2010 at 8:39 pm:

    I agree with this post, fall is definitely a time of cravings, and grilled cheese is definitely up there. They remind me of childhood in the best possible way. And this one, with the sharp cheese and the apples and (oh la la!) that pesto, is a childhood craving all grown up. Very nice! Will have to try; thanks for sharing :)

  4. LilSis says on October 20 2010 at 10:26 pm:

    That is one gorgeous grilled cheese sandwich! It reminds me of one that Martha Stewart just made on Oprah, but even better with the sage pesto.

  5. Maria @ Scandifoodie says on October 20 2010 at 11:49 pm:

    That sage pesto sounds just genius! I love trying new pesto flavours so I’ll definitely give this one a go.

  6. Kerry@Foodlovas says on October 21 2010 at 12:16 am:

    Loving the fall food posts out there right now. Thanks for a new craving that I just have to have this minute (ok, it is morning, so I will wait until supper…)

  7. my little expat kitchen says on October 21 2010 at 2:26 am:

    I really love these kind of sandwiches yet I don’t make them often. The pesto is a great idea, I’m very curious about its taste. I will have to give it a try.

  8. Liz says on October 21 2010 at 3:56 am:

    The sage pesto… er… spread sounds great!

  9. Jessica @ How Sweet says on October 21 2010 at 3:57 am:

    I love apples and cheese together – it is an all time comfort food for me!

  10. Danielle says on October 21 2010 at 5:49 am:

    That sandwich looks DELICIOUS!

  11. TheKitchenWitch says on October 21 2010 at 8:00 am:

    That looks divine! I’m all about a gooey grilled cheese, preferably with smoked provolone!

  12. Rachel says on October 21 2010 at 10:09 am:

    Grilled apple and cheese is so wonderful! The pesto sounds like it would put this sandwich in the heavenly realm.
    I often spread apple butter on my grilled cheese. So yummy, and very fall!

  13. laura @ alittlebarefoot says on October 21 2010 at 10:57 am:

    this is absolute heaven. sage is my favorite herb, and this is a great looking way to use it!

  14. Maddie says on October 21 2010 at 4:06 pm:

    It’s a sign of true confidence in the kitchen when you can not only follow a recipe with ease, but dream a delicious one up yourself.

    Strangely, I had my first-ever grilled cheese sandwich only a month or two ago, but with recipes like this around, I have a feeling I’ll be making up for lost time!

  15. The Rowdy Chowgirl says on October 21 2010 at 8:13 pm:

    Grilled cheese really are the pinnacle of all sandwiches. And with apples–perfect! Just like a hot piece of apple pie with cheddar on top!

  16. Emily says on October 23 2010 at 7:36 am:

    Mmmm. These look amazing. Might have to mimic this very afternoon!

  17. Jessie says on October 24 2010 at 1:53 am:

    hmmm…grilled cheese and pesto! totally my thing! i might just add in a slice of turkey ham too! yum yum :P

  18. tiina { sparkling ink } says on October 24 2010 at 2:47 am:

    Oh my, you had me at sage pesto. Sounds gorgeous for grilled sandwiches, and oh, so lovely with apples.

  19. Keri says on October 24 2010 at 7:54 am:

    Grilled cheese is the pinnacle sandwich for me – so simple and so versatile! I made this last night for dinner and it was divine. I will make this, and the sage pesto, over and over!

  20. Julie says on October 25 2010 at 1:47 pm:

    I love how you can make a humble grilled cheese sandwich into something so beautiful and special. Looking forward to trying your recipe for the sage pesto and making some of these sandwiches for the people I love.

  21. Barbara says on October 26 2010 at 4:09 am:

    Sage pesto is brilliant! And you are so right…grilled cheese is the best! Love your apple and cheese combo.

  22. natalie (the sweets life) says on October 26 2010 at 8:23 am:

    oh my gosh, I so wish that were my lunch today! Your pictures are all incredible!

  23. Nicole says on October 26 2010 at 11:10 am:

    This looks fantastic. The sage spread is genius!

  24. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on October 26 2010 at 4:51 pm:

    Thanks, everyone. I always feel kind of silly posting a “recipe” for a sandwich, but I’m happy to hear there are so many other sandwich-lovers out there. Your comments are so nice and so appreciated.

  25. molly says on October 29 2010 at 8:53 am:

    sage pesto. sage. pesto. of all my many pestos, none have been prefixed by sage. hmmm…. i think this spells fall….

  26. caitlin @ thesubletkitchen says on November 04 2010 at 1:43 pm:

    oh my! this is exactly what i have been looking for – looks amazing. thanks for the reciple!

  27. An apple a day | Eating on a Napkin says on December 11 2011 at 10:14 am:

    [...] grilled cheese with hazelnut pesto (adapted from The Kitchen Sink) yielded 1 [...]

  28. So Many Sandwiches / Blog / Need Supply Co. says on July 02 2013 at 2:17 am:

    [...] The Kitchen Sink Recipes – Grilled Apple and Cheese Sandwich with Sage Pesto [...]

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