A colorful meal this is not. But what it lacks in hue, it delivers in complexity and comfort -- shades of white mean that the bursts of autumnal flavor hidden within the meal will elude until the very last moment. Then, that very first shocker of a bite and the cat will be out of the bag! Silky sweet and savory all at once, EmilyC's pear-kissed cauliflower soup is a warming comfort alongside mrslarkin's decadent cheese sandwich. Perhaps not so muted after all.
This recipe serves one
2 slices sourdough bread
2 ounces shredded or thinly sliced cheese of your choice (soft or semi-hard melty cheese only)
unsalted butter, softened4 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon Parmigiano Reggiano, grated with a microplane grater
cornichons, or regular pickles
whole grain mustard
1. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium/medium-low heat. Spread one side of bread with butter -- don't be shy. Press two sage leaves on the butter, and swipe the leaves with a little more butter so they adhere. Repeat with second slice of bread.
2. Lay one slice of bread in hot pan, butter and sage side down. Place cheese on the bread in the pan. Top with second slice of bread, butter and sage side up. Grill for a few minutes. You'll hear the butter start to sizzle. Carefully check bottom of sandwich; you're looking for golden-brown.
3. With a spatula, carefully flip the sandwich, and cook for another few minutes, again looking for golden-brown. Sprinkle the top of the sandwich with half of the Parmigiano, making sure to cover the sage leaves. Flip the sandwich back over and cook for a few seconds to crisp the Parmigiano. (Don't leave it too long or the Parmigiano will burn.) Sprinkle the rest of the Parmigiano on the top slice and flip once more to crisp that side -- a few more seconds and you're done!
4. Serve with cornichons, or their cheaper cousin the dill pickle, mustard, and a cold glass-bottled Coke.
8 slices sourdough bread
8 ounces cheese of your choice (soft or semi-soft melty cheese only)
Sage leaves (you'll need them for the sandwich and soup)
1 head of cauliflower
2 small potatoes
2 small pears
1 small leek
We assume you have unsalted butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano, grainy mustard, olive oil, onion, chicken stock, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper. If not, you'll need those, too!
1. The soup needs about 30 minutes of simmer time, following the initial caramelization bit, so start there. Chop everything you'll need for the soup first and then dive in!
2. During the 30 minute simmer, prepare the sandwiches. Slice all the cheese, butter the bread, and assemble. Don't forget those pretty sage leaves!
3. Keep the finished sandwiches warm in a slightly heated oven while you toast the others. When the sandwiches are all finished, serve with big bowl of soup.
4. Watch those faces light up as your hungry hordes take their first bite. Enjoy.