Roasted Squash and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Taking advantage of my favorite fall foods to make a sweet and savory grilled cheese sandwich.
This is my favorite time of year. I love the slight chill in the air, being able to wear sweaters and boots (I mean, fall fashion is just the best!) and of course, the food! Apples, squash, soup, all so good. When I was young, my Mom would take me to the local apple orchard and we would pick apples, shop the farmer’s market and enjoy hot cider.
When it comes to the apples themselves, everyone has an opinion. For me, it is the hard, slightly tart and slightly sweet apples that I just love. Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, Braeburn, McIntosh and Honeycrisp are the ones I buy in bulk. Some are used for applesauce, some to eat as is and others to bake with. As I looked at the bags of apples and different kinds of squash I had bought, it occurred to me that the combination of flavors is perfect together with a couple additions.One of the questions I get asked all the time as a knife rep (especially this time of year!), is what knife do I use to cut through the hard butternut squash shell? My response is to use a carrot or vegetable peeler first. The shell comes off super easy as long as the peeler is sharp. Once the thick shell is gone, take your favorite knife to cut it into the sizes you want. I personally love my Japanese knives. Significant control and hard steel makes these very low maintenance and easy sharpening.
If you haven’t tried roasting vegetables or squash, you are missing out. The high heat makes everything sweeter. Truth be told, even the ones that get a little too roasted (aka burned) are actually the tastiest. Try green beans or broccoli on a sheet pan by cooking at 400 degrees and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. About 30-45 minutes later, depending on the thickness of the vegetables and you will have the easiest side dish or ingredients for a recipe.
When it comes to the sandwich itself, you can certainly adjust it to the type of apple, bread and cheese that you like or have available. I’m a fan of milder cheeses like mozzarella and of course, Parmigiano Reggiano. As a Brand Ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano, I incorporate it into many recipes and cheeses platters. For this recipe, I brushed the top of the bread with olive oil, sprinkled parmesan on the bread and then grilled the sandwich. If I am looking for a small amount of parmesan, I will use a Microplane grater. For larger volumes, it’s my Vitamix. The grilling provides a slight crunch by toasting the cheese. It’s the perfect mesh with the sweet apples and honey.
- 1 Honeycrisp apple - sliced in thin wedges, use half per sandwich
- 1 Butternut Squash - cut in 1/4 in slices
- 6-8 bocconcini - small mozzarella balls sliced in half
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano, grated or shredded
- Thick Bread - wheat, pumpernickel, 2 slices
- Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Butternut Squash - Cut into slices, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes till golden brown.
- Bread- Lightly butter or brush with olive oil on one side. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. Press lightly into bread.
- Once squash is roasted, layer sliced apples and then mozzarella, drizzle honey over ingredients. Add squash slices and top with bread.
- Grill on low heat. Slice and enjoy.