Butternut Squash Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized Onion and Sage Butter

Butternut Squash Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized Onion and Sage Butter on http://www.theculinarylife.com

- Yes, I’m a fan of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches -

A few weeks ago I had lunch at the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, a classic but innovative new luncherie in San Francisco. I wrote about my experience over at Bay Area Bites, and ever since that day, I’ve had a lingering dream about the lovely grilled cheese sandwich I ate that day: the Butternut Buster, a rich, sweet combination of gruyere, fontina, prosciutto, sage butter, caramelized onions, and butternut squash. Yes, you read that correctly.

Doesn’t that sound like the most gourmet, incredibly decadent sandwich ever? Here’s my description of the experience from my review post:

Before me sat a sandwich that must have measured 4-inches thick. Between the thick, moist slices of toasted levain bread were layer upon layer of fresh sage butter, caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash, tender prosciutto, and some of the most gooshy, melty gruyere and fontina cheese I’ve ever eaten. I dove into the sandwich like a dinosaur eating a caveman, and before long I was covered in cheese, meat, and breadcrumbs. I swear, I don’t think I took a breath through the first half of my lunch. For that two minutes, my life was nothing but a lambada of flavor, texture, and aroma.

Nate Pollak, the owner of American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, was kind enough to share his gourmet grilled cheese recipe for the Butternut Buster, and he was DOUBLY nice to allow me to share it with you all, here on my blog. So, make this amazing sandwich as soon as you possibly can, and then get your butt down to the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco. And be sure to ask for your sandwich on gluten-free bread, which they make in-house. It’s incredible.

Butternut Squash Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized Onion and Sage Butter
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
The Butternut Buster, the ultimate gourmet grilled cheese, is a rich, sweet combination of gruyere, fontina, prosciutto, sage butter, caramelized onions, and butternut squash. Yes, you read that correctly.
Ingredients
  • For the sage butter:
  • 1/2 pound salted butter
  • 5 large, fresh sage leaves
  • For the caramelized onions:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the roasted butternut squash:
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Sandwich assembly and cooking
  • 4 tablespoons sage butter (see recipe below)
  • 4 slices of thick country bread
  • 6 tablespoons caramelized onions (see recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons gruyere cheese
  • 10 thin slices prosciutto
  • 6 slices of roasted butternut squash (see recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons fontina cheese (preferably a stinky Italian fontina)
Instructions
  1. To Make Sage Butter: Cream the salted butter with a stand mixer or electric hand beater.
  2. Pluck leaves off sage sprigs and chop them coarsely.
  3. Add chopped leaves to butter and mix until evenly distributed.
  4. To Make Caramelized Onions: Coat a skillet with a thin layer of vegetable oil, add the diced onions and salt, and cook on medium heat, stirring regularly, until onions are fully caramelized (dark brown color, sweet smell/taste, no more liquid in the pan).
  5. Remove onions from heat and set aside.
  6. To Make Roasted Butternut Squash: Preheat oven to 375°.
  7. Peel the skin off the squash and slice the squash into thin rounds (so you get thin squash “disks”).
  8. Spread the squash slices onto a baking sheet with a sheet liner coated in a non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle oil over the squash and sprinkle a few pinches of salt.
  9. Bake the squash for about 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. Bake until the slices are soft and darken in color to a rich orange.
  10. Remove from oven and set aside.
  11. Sandwich Assembly and Cooking: Preheat oven to 500°.
  12. Spread a thin layer of sage butter on the outer side of each of the slices of bread. Lay the bread butter-side down on a cookie surface.
  13. Spread a thin layer of caramelized onions on the inside of one of the slices of bread. Follow with a layer of gruyere, a thin layer of prosciutto, 3 slices of roasted squash slices, and a layer of fontina cheese.
  14. Place the other piece of buttered bread (butter-side out) on top of the layer of fontina.
  15. Place the sandwich on a baking sheet and slide into oven. Cook for 1 minute, until top slice of bread is toasted and golden-brown. Remove the sandwich from the oven, flip it over, and bake again until the new top slice of bread is also golden-brown and all cheese is fully melted.
  16. Remove from oven.

Comments

  1. Casey@Good. Food. Stories. says:

    I am henceforth referring to these squashes as nutterbut squashes from now on. And if you make me this sandwich, I will taste it with an open mind.

  2. Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi says:

    Sounds good, but I’d have to skip the sage. After one of my relatives dastardly sage stuffing, I’ve never been able to stand it.

  3. Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart says:

    I should not visit your blog when I’m hungry and still need to work out. Not fair. Not fair, I say!

  4. Indulgent, lovely, elegant – and I’m certain tasty.

  5. Alisa Bowman says:

    This sounds too good not to try!

  6. Donna Hull says:

    Oh, yum! I’m a big fan of caramelized onions, period. This grilled cheese sandwich sounds so good. I’ll be trying this recipe.

  7. Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing! Butternut squash with cheese and carmelized onion? Yes, please!

  8. sarah henry says:

    Sans the meat sounds like my kind of comfort food.

  9. Stephanie – That is a great looking sandwich. I love grilled cheese sandwiches but I have never ate one this elaborate. That was nice of Nate to share his recipe with and us. I am going to make this tonight. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  10. Gluten Free Diva says:

    Love the sandwich. So fancy, for grilled cheese! BTW, I bet the sandwich would taste equally as good with Tempeh Sausage (I have a recipe for it at my blog). And on that great brioche bread you blogged about. Ooh la la!

    Was the restaurant open this past October, when we were in SF for blogher? Don’t know when we’ll next be in SF, but it’s on my list of must go to restaurants.

  11. Mmm, a butternut and sage take on the croque-monsieur. And I thought it was impossible to improve upon the French original!

  12. Jane Boursaw says:

    Oh my. I love butternut squash (I’m the only one around here who loves butternut squash soup, which is fine – more for me). I would never ever think of this combo of foods, but it does sound totally decadent and lovely.

  13. I read the title and I’m already drooling.

  14. Alisa Fleming says:

    That does sound like quite the amazing combination! Even without the cheese I think those flavors would meld so nicely.

  15. justcooknyc says:

    this sounds so right

  16. I JUST had breakfast and I am want to try that sandwich NOW!!!

  17. Looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try my own version.

  18. Kris Bordessa says:

    This is why other people are chefs and I am not. I would never have come up with such a pairing, but I admit – it sounds worth a try.

  19. Cookin' Canuck says:

    This might be the most original grilled cheese sandwich I have seen…and I can’t wait to try it.

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