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MICHAEL SYMON Fall Grilled Cheese

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A grilled cheese sandwich infused with fall flavors.

1 whole small pumpkin (about 2-5 pounds)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2-3 sage leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 bunch sage leaves
8 slices raisin walnut bread (sliced 1/2-inch thick)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 chunk gorgonzola dolce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

For Pumpkin Puree: Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center of each half and discard.
Place the pumpkin halves on a baking sheet and place in the oven to roast until light golden brown, about 45 minutes.
When cooled, peel off the skin of the pumpkin halves and discard. In the bowl of a food processor, add the pumpkin, and puree until smooth. Add maple syrup and 3-4 sage leaves. Puree until combined and season with salt.
For the Grilled Cheese: Lay out 8 slices of the raisin walnut bread. Spread each slice evenly with butter and place 2 sage leaves on each slice, pressing the leaves into the bread.
Flip each slice of bread over. On 4 slices, add a spoonful of pumpkin mixture to each and spread evenly. On the remaining 4 slices, add a spoonful of gorgonzola dolce and spread evenly. Sandwich two pieces of bread together with the buttered side facing out.
Heat a griddle to medium heat, drizzle or brush with olive oil and then add each sandwich. Toast on both sides until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Remove to a cutting board, slice diagonally, and serve.
Tip: Use canned pumpkin puree for an easy store-bought solution.

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