A few weeks ago Holly and Natalie from The Modern Proper came over for a little springy get-together. We spent the afternoon chatting, cooking, shooting, eating, and having an altogether fantastic time! I met them over a year ago when they came to the bone broth class I hosted, and they’d also sewn up the first batch of linen napkins we used for Secret Supper (they’re very multi-talented ladies!!) It was so fun to get to brainstorm with them on this recipe and collaborate on shooting and styling it—I’d wanted to make something with rhubarb, and they suggested grilled cheese, and together we created this little delicious hybrid of all the tastiest aspects of spring! You can take a look at their post here for more mouth-watering grilled cheese photos 😀
We roasted the rhubarb with a little olive oil and salt to soften it, and we also chopped up and caramelized some spring onions for the sandwich, too. It’s a huge time saver if you get the rhubarb roasting in the oven and then caramelize the onions while the rhubarb is cooking away, that way each one ends up being done within about 20 minutes of the other. We also used a hefty amount of crumbled chevre (aka fresh goat’s cheese). Goat’s cheese this time of year is especially flavorful, since spring is when all the green grass grows again and the goats have access to delicious pastured greens after a long winter. This is also the time when goats are giving birth and nursing, so the milk used to make chevre in the spring is chockfull of richness that helps the little baby goat grow, and just so happens to be extra-delicious to us! (This is known as the seasonality of milk, and you can read more about it here if you want to nerd out real hard on it.) And to add a little sweet contrast in with the tart rhubarb and savory chevre, we spread the inside of the french bread with a bit of local raw honey. This is a must, there’s nothing quite as delicious as the combination of melted warm tangy goat cheese with sweet hot honey on buttered toasted French bread. SOOOOO good. I specifically remember letting out a deep and satisfied sigh after my first bite of this sandwich, and I hope you will, too!!
Rhubarb, Chèvre and Caramelized Spring Onion Grilled Cheese
- 5 stalks rhubarb
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt
- 1 pound and 4 ounces spring onions (chopped)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 10 teaspoons honey
- 10 ounces chèvre (fresh goat's cheese) crumbled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the rhubarb into roughly 4-inch long pieces and toss them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the sea salt. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet and roast until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the rhubarb stalk.
While the rhubarb is roasting, you can caramelize the spring onions. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat. Add the spring onions and stir to coat them in the olive oil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking over low heat until the onions release their moisture and turn lightly golden, about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every few minutes, increasing the stirring frequency towards the end of the coking time. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble, spread only one side of each slice of bread with the softened butter, using about 1/2 tablespoon per slice. Lay two slices of bread on a flat clean working surface with the buttered side facing down. Spread the exposed side of each slice with 1 teaspoon of honey, then sprinkle one slice with two or three tablespoons of the caramelized onion mixture and top with three or four pieces of the rhubarb and 2 ounces of the crumbled goat cheese. Place the other slice of bread, honeyed side facing down, on top of the goat cheese and press lightly to seal the sandwich together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place two sandwiches next to each other in the skillet and cook until golden on each side and the cheese inside the sandwich is softened and melty, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Serve hot.