February 18, 2016

Ham and Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Sweet Pea Spread

Ham and Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Sweet Pea Spread

Last week, my kids and I went on a walk around our neighborhood just to breath in the fresh air. I realized that since getting a gym membership a few months ago I've been missing our usual afternoon strolls. Much to my surprise we saw our fair share of budding flowers on trees and daffodils popping their bright yellow heads out of the wet soil. My delight in these discoveries made me realize just how ready I am to embrace spring and say goodbye to winter. The older I get the sooner that desire seems to creep up each year.


My delight in these discoveries made me realize just how ready I am to embrace spring and say goodbye to winter.

Natalie and I are definitely ready for the sun’s return, for our gardens to be in bloom and to be able to once again release our kids to turn our backyards into their own adventure wonderlands. The greening of our browned grass and budding of the many forgotten perennials not only makes me look forward to the warmer times ahead, but to the change it will surely bring for what's on our plates. When I think of a spring menu ham and sweet green peas always comes to mind. Such a delightfully fresh combination, don't you think?

Along those lines, Natalie and I set out to create a bright and flavorful grilled cheese sandwich to help usher in this beautiful and fast approaching (fingers crossed) season. We believe we did just that with this ham and gruyere grilled cheese with mashed sweet peas and mint. It’s so simple and makes for a very easy lunch or dinner, and the addition of the spring peas and mint make it feel so festive and celebratory.

As we mentioned a few post back, one of our New Year's goals for TMP is to partner with other food bloggers by creating content for and with them. We've continued on that journey with this heavenly sandwich created for our friend Annalise and her blog Sweet Anna's.

Annalise is a fantastic home cook and is brilliant at creating easy and comforting dishes just like Grandma used to make, but she has a knack for skillfully simplifying them for our modern lives. She's currently in the finishing stages of writing a cookbook that is dedicated to the art of prep-ahead dinners. I'll speak for myself when I say that's an area I can't wait to learn more about. To give Annalise a much deserved breather we created this sandwich for her blog and her fabulous readers, as well as for our faithful followers (that’s you). For more great recipes, head on over to Sweet Anna's. Happy eating and happy almost spring! If I say it enough it will come faster, right?

Ham and Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Sweet Pea Spread

Serves 4

Sweet Pea Spread

2 cups frozen sweet peas
20 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Sandwich

12-16 slices black forest ham
8 oz gruyere cheese, thinly sliced or grated
8 slices rustic Italian bread
4 tbsp butter, softened
4 tbsp mayonnaise

Method

  1. In a small food processor pulse the peas, mint, olive oil, salt and pepper until all ingredients begin to come together and form a nice paste.
  2. Divide the sweet pea spread between the insides of 4 slices of bread. Top the peas with 3-4 slices of ham and follow with 2 oz of cheese. Place the 4 leftover bread slices on top of the cheese.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise and the softened butter until well incorporated.
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture on the top of each sandwich. Flip each sandwich butter side down into a pan set over medium-low heat. Place a lid over the sandwiches to hold in the heat so that the cheese melts and the sandwich heats up. Keep heat at medium-low. (A good grilled cheese takes decent amount of time for the cheese to melt and the bread to get crispy.) 
  5. When the underside is nice and golden brown, remove the lid and spread the remaining 4 tablespoon of the butter mixture on the tops of the sandwiches. Flip each sandwich over. When the bottoms of the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese is completely melted, remove from pan and serve.

1. Make

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