Our challenge of savory seasonal eating continues!
Raspberry season is upon us, and we quickly discovered through our research process that there’s not a whole lot of savory raspberry recipes out there, which we found simultaneously disappointing and alluring. We found plenty of jams, jellies, cookies, pavlovas (Christ, so many pavlovas) and cakes, but no one seemed interested in figuring out how raspberries could make their way out of the realm of dessert.
But if there’s a way to make something savory, we will find it. As usual, the key was cheese.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are essentially a step below pizza ingredient-wise, so they’re near the top of the favorite food list for us. Few things can compare to crisp and thickly sliced rustic bread (Nate makes the best) with melted cheese. However, there is one thing that these sandwiches usually lack to create what is more commonly accepted as a “complete taste” on its own, and that’s acid. That’s why you see grilled cheese and tomato soup paired together all over the place.
So we thought…why not switch up the acid?
Berries and cheese go way back, so we weren’t too scared about them intermingling. Our acidic subject? Fresh raspberries. Our cheese? We eventually decided to go with a blend of chèvre for flavor and Jarlsberg for texture. So we smashed some raspberries we got from Sauvie Island Farms after a lovely day of berry picking onto some of Nate’s homemade 50% whole wheat sourdough bread and got cooking.
The results? Crunchy, fluffy, creamy, gooey, and tart. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. If you have any fruit laying around, especially incredibly fresh fruit, we wholeheartedly recommend you put your thinking cap on and find a cheese that’ll pair well with it, then immediately stuff it in a grilled cheese sandwich. You will not be disappointed. Sometimes it really is the simplest things that taste the best.
Smashed Raspberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
- 2 thick slices of good rustic bread (whole wheat sourdough was magical with this, but if you wanna try something else, it’ll still turn out awesome)
- About 1 tablespoon of butter, room temperature
- 8–10 ripe raspberries (enough to cover the surface of one piece of bread)
- 2 ounces of Jarlsberg cheese, grated
- 1 ounce chèvre, room temperature
- A dash of freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix the grated Jarlsberg and chèvre together along with the fresh black pepper. Set aside.
Butter both pieces of bread on one side using ½ a tablespoon of butter each. On the unbuttered side of one of your pieces of bread, lay out your raspberries and smash them with a fork, moving the juices around until the entire surface of the bread is covered. Spoon the cheese mixture on top of the smashed raspberries and spread it until the cheese covers the surface of the bread. Put the other piece of bread on top, buttered side up.
Preheat a non-stick pan on medium heat and put the sandwich in the pan. Allow each side to cook for roughly four minutes, adjusting heat as needed to cook the sandwich through, or until each side of the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. To help the melting process along, you can put a lid on the pan, keeping the heat trapped in, though you should limit this because you will lose that deep crispness with too much steam.
Allow sandwich to cool, then go to town.