I just put a handful of grapes on your sandwich... Don't be mad.
I made this sandwich about forty minutes before rushing out the door to a dress appointment. After making and photographing the sandwich, I was left with exactly enough time for 1.5 bites before I had to leave. It was not a happy parting, but I came home and finished it cold because it was just that good.
This sandwich...oh, this sandwich, it is really and truly wonderful. I want to eat it every day.
When my family first moved into the house that they have lived in for the past eleven years and counting, we had a grapevine. It was rather pathetic, truth be told, but it produced several pounds of nearly-black baubles each summer, until it finally gave up its efforts and shriveled away.
My siblings and I could not get enough of those deep, dusty grapes. We would squeeze each fruit between our dirty fingers and pop the soft insides out of their skins and into our mouths. The skins were too tough to be enjoyable, and they provided a wrapper of protection from the grime of summer days that lay upon our hands. With a mouthful of small, brown seeds, we would engage in a seed-spitting competition. You see, we were all very sophisticated.
The flavor of those sun-warmed grapes has never escaped my memory, and when I discovered Thomcord grapes last year, the nostalgia rushed through my mind, flooding my senses with sweet familiarity.
I love red grapes with cheese and charcuterie, but there is something about those gem-like, black Concords that captures my heart. Thomcord grapes are a cross between Concord and Thompson grapes, and they possess all the charm of Concords without the pesky seeds and tough skins.
Through some very tedious experimentation (read: eating and more eating), I found that they pair really, really well with brie.
It's okay, you can roll your eyes, I know I'm obsessed with brie - but this really is SO GOOD!
So let's run through this again. Homemade bread + caramelized onions + melty, creamy brie + sweet and crunchy grapes = happiness. That's math. You can't argue with math.
The best part about this sandwich is the contrast between the crispy, buttered bread, the rich brie, and then the sharpness of the still-cool, crunchy grapes.
Lunch is served.
Grape & Brie Grilled Cheese
makes 2 sandwiches
for the caramelized onions
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
In a small, nonstick frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook until the onions are translucent and have begun to brown on the edges. About 5-8 minutes.
Add balsamic vinegar and cook until the onions are deep in color and caramelized. Just before removing the onions from heat, add the honey.
for the sandwiches
- 4 thick slices multigrain bread
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup Thomcord grapes
- 6-8 ounces double cream brie
Place a medium, nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
Spread a layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread. Cover two slices of bread with caramelized onions and the remaining two slices with sliced brie. Press the grapes into the brie and place the sandwich halves together.
Cook the sandwiches in the skillet for about 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Serve immediately. Enjoy!