When it comes to making food I find that the most difficult meal to be creative with is lunch. As a kid I would be content with a grilled cheese or a bologna (YUCK) sandwich with Miracle Whip.
As an adult however, my tastes have improved…a lot. And now that I no longer suck down cigarettes like they’re going out of style, I have nearly all of my sense of taste back and I like flavorful food that isn’t made that way because of chemicals and food coloring. I prefer fresh ingredients that are as whole as possible.
So when I saw these gorgeous Comice pears at the market I grabbed a few and I went in search of Fontina cheese. Since it was apparently hiding from me, I decided on a cow’s milk cheese similar in taste. I grabbed a small wedge of Maasdam, a Dutch cheese that’s made like Swiss cheese (holes and all). It’s delicious and flavorful and goes great with clean flavors like pears.
I know you’re thinking “pears and cheese, really?” But trust me it is a super delicious way to enjoy a sandwich without processed meats, even though I have been known to squeal like a teenager at a boy band concert at the mere sight of prosciutto.
But when it’s my turn to cook lunch I try to find meals that are meatless so I don’t have to make it twice. Sometimes I add a bit of pancetta or prosciutto to these types of sandwiches but this time I opted to eat it as I meant it to be and added a salad for good measure.
The best thing about these types of sandwiches is that you get sweet and savory together so I don’t have a craving for sugar after my meal.
Enjoy these sammies open-faced or traditional sandwich style.
I added a small salad with spinach and romaine lettuce, cranberries, almonds and hazelnuts with a bit of balsamic vinegar.
1 Comice pear, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 slices Maasdam cheese
Salt & Pepper
½ tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Rosemary
2 mini ciabatta rolls
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
2. Add in onions and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until they begin to brown. You want them somewhat caramelized.
3. Toss in chopped pear and cook 3 more minutes until the pears soften slightly.
4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
5. Place ciabatta in oven for 5 minutes then remove and slice open.
6. Place onions and pears on bread and top with cheese.
7. Return buns to the oven and bake until cheese is melted. Service with salad.
8. Chop salad leaves then rinse and dry.
9. Toss chopped almonds and hazelnuts with cranberries and add to lettuce.
10. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over and toss until blended.
The best way to get a salad that isn’t soggy is to use a salad spinner to dry the leaves and don’t toss with vinegar until just before serving.