This Pear, Gouda and Balsamic Onion Grilled Cheese is a delicious Fall comfort food indulgence! A delicious way to enjoy Fall pears.
I love to bake with pears, but beautiful Fall pears are equally at home in savoury dishes. Pears combine perfectly with any number of cheeses, such as Gouda. And of course, with lovely balsamic caramelized onions. In a sandwich. Perfectly grilled.
This Pear, Gouda and Balsamic Onion Grilled Cheese starts with a lovely seedy bread. It's spread with mayonnaise, then grilled in butter, then cooked low and slow to allow the cheese to melt. The sandwich is also weighted down as it cooks, to achieve a perfect and consistent grill. It may seem like a lot or work, but when it comes to sandwiches like this, if you're in, make it perfect!
And when you sit down to this one, you will be richly rewarded - with the nutty, creamy gouda and the sweet pears and the lovely onions that are just the perfect savoury foil. Certainly not everyday food, but a worthy splurge this time of year.
Cook's Notes for Pear, Gouda and Balsamic Onion Grilled Cheese
As mentioned above, if you're aiming for the perfect grilled cheese, it will require patience. Low and slow is the way to go, so resist the urge to crank the heat up.
Use any pear you like to eat, as long as it is ripe, but still firm. You don't want mushy pear in this one.
Pear, Gouda and Balsamic Onion Grilled Cheese
For 1 Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Double as necessary.
- 1/2 small onion (sliced in to rings)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Pinch salt
For the Sandwich:
- 2 slices multigrain bread
- 1 Tbsp butter (cut in half)
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Gouda cheese (shredded)
- 1/2 pear (ripe but still firm, halved cored and thinly sliced)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Balsamic Onions (from above)
- Make the balsamic onions: Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a skillet. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until syrupy, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
- Prepare cheese and pears and set aside.
- In a skillet, melt 1/2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Spread one slice of the bread with 1/2 of the mayonnaise. Place mayonnaise side down on top of the butter. Quickly top bread with 1/2 the cheese, a single layer of the pear slices (you may not need all), a grind of pepper, the balsamic onions, then the rest of the cheese. Top with second bread slice. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place a plate on top of the sandwich, concave side down, to act as a weight (a dinner plate works well here). Allow to cook a few minutes, checking the underside of the sandwich regularly. When golden, remove plate from top. Spread the top of the sandwich with the remaining mayonnaise. Lift sandwich with a spatula. Add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter to the pan and allow to melt. Return sandwich to skillet, mayonnaise spread side down and cook as before with a plate over-top, until golden on the underside. Remove to a cutting board. Cut in half and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from an Oprah magazine recipe