I used to work at an adorable café in Salt Lake City that made these great grilled sandwiches with roasted pear chutney and thick slices of brie. I had a craving for one the other day and tried my best to re-create one from memory. I don’t have access to Crumb Brother’s ciabatta bread here in Maryland, so I made do with a crusty French loaf from the supermarket. The end result is more savory than sweet, since the pears are roasted with balsamic vinegar and salted, and the creamy richness of the brie is tempered with the sinus-clearing heat of the mustard. All in all it’s a fantastic sandwich, and it’s quite easy to make. This sandwich would be on the regular dinner rotation in my house if I didn’t live with such picky eaters. Make one and eat it for me. Please.
Grilled Pear and Brie Sandwich
Makes 8 sandwiches
2 slightly unripe pears, any variety you like (super-ripe pears will fall apart with roasting)
1 granny smith apple
1 medium red onion
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. melted butter
16 slices of crusty bread – French, ciabatta, etc.
1 small wheel of brie
softened butter – enough to lightly cover 16 slices of bread
Mustard – Dijon, whole grain, or German
salt and pepper
1. Dice the pears, apple, and onion, toss with melted butter and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until everything is soft and caramelized.
2. Assemble sandwiches by layering 3 Tbsp. of the pear and onion mixture, 2 tsp. mustard (less if your mustard is very strong), and 3-4 thick slices of brie between slices of buttered bread. Make sure the buttered side is facing out.
3. Grill the sandwiches in a pan or on a griddle over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Work in batches if necessary and store the sandwiches in a warm oven until ready to serve.