Take an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich to delicious new gourmet heights by layering the inside with pastrami and juicy ripe pear slices. Then use a special trick to get the outside extra crispy. You'll never want to eat it the plain old way again! (Skip to recipe.)
Thanks to California Pears for sponsoring this post so I could share this amazing pear recipe with you and tell you about one of my favourite summer fruits.
Friends, this sandwich is fantastic. It is all the things a good grilled cheese should be: amazing crunch on the outside, toasted to a deep burnished copper, zippy undertone of dijon mustard, savoury onion cooked to mild crunchiness, folds and crags of richly spiced pastrami, and oozing melted cheese draping through thick slices of sweet, juicy pear, soft and fragrant. Oooooh, yes. One bite of this grilled cheese sandwich turns your everyday lunch into something extra special.
In fact, it's become my latest obsession lately when I don't want to turn on the oven and I want a quick meal loaded with delicious flavours and textures. Seeing the heaps of this year's new crop of California Pears arriving in green-gold splendour in the grocery stores was the inspiration for this sandwich.
“Slice a pear and you will find that its flesh is incandescent white. It glows with inner light. Those who carry a knife and a pear are never afraid of the dark.”
I love this quote by Canadian author,
And they're not just a pretty (delicious) face; California Pears contain antioxidants, and are a good source of fibre and a source of Vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. They are the ideal, healthy summer snack and the star in a lot of very tasty recipes. Notably - this one.
Those thick slices of juicy pear, just a little bit tangy and naturally sweet, are the perfect foil for the umami spices of the pastrami and the richness of the cheese. The amazing crunch on the outside of this grilled cheese sandwich comes from a lavish swath of . . . not butter . . . but mayonnaise (now you know the secret). All together these ingredients make for a very memorable sandwich. If I had the inclination to open a sandwich shop, this would definitely be on the menu.
Just a Few Simple Steps to a Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Gather your ingredients. All you need is some good bread, onion, pastrami, a juicy California pear, gouda cheese, mustard, mayo, and pepper.
First you slather one side of each of the bread slices with mayo, then flip them over and spread the other side with mustard.
Layer with very thinly sliced red onion and tasty pastrami (Montreal smoked meat would be mighty fine, too).
Now you add a couple thick juicy slices of perfectly ripe California Pear, a good grinding of fresh pepper, and a slab of gouda cheese.
Flip the top slice of bread over onto the fillings, and pop the sandwiches into a hot skillet to slowly turn a crispy golden colour, warming up the pastrami and pear, and melting that beautiful oozing cheese down into them.
You can use light rye bread, or seeded whole grain bread. (Both of these in the photos are gluten-free versions).
And then you take that first crispy bite with the warm and oozing cheesy center, zesty meat and onion, sweet juicy pear, and tangy mustard. The sum of its parts makes this sandwich an amazing, unforgettable whole.
Other Delicious Recipes to use Your Juicy California Pears In:
- Buddha Bowl with Grilled Pear, Quinoa, and Tangy Pear Vinaigrette
- Sautéed Pears with Chocolate Sauce
- Ginger Pear Tarts
- Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pear, and Sesame Seeds
- Poppyseed, Pomegranate, and Pear Salad
- Artichoke, Pear, and Pine Nut Pizza
- Bacon Bundles - Pear and Bacon Appetizers
- Confetti Crepes with Fresh Pears, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Chocolate Lentil Creme
- Spiced Pear Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Honey
- or check out these California Pears Recipes
I feel good about cooking with Bartletts from California. They are grown on 60 small family farms, which are leaders in natural pest control and fertilizer reduction. Knowing where my food comes from and knowing that it's healthy is very important to me when feeding my loved ones.
For more information about how these tasty pears are grown, nutrition facts, and recipes visit www.calpear.com
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Kitchen Frau Notes: A perfectly ripe, juicy pear makes this grilled cheese sandwich unforgettable. To enjoy the ripeness you prefer, you can buy greener Bartletts to ripen at home. As they ripen and become more sweet and juicy, they will turn a golden yellow colour.
I love gouda in these grilled cheese sandwiches, but other cheeses will work, too. Sliced Brie cheese or a good aged cheddar would be very tasty, and smoked Montreal meat would be a good stand in for the pastrami. You could even use smoked turkey deli meat as an option, but it wouldn't have quite the same spicy punch.
Pear and Pastrami Grilled Cheese Sandwich
gluten free if you use gluten free bread
- 4 slices of light rye bread, or gluten free artisanal or sourdough bread
- 4 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 4 slices of red onion, sliced as thinly as possible
- 6 thin slices deli pastrami (or Montreal smoked meat)
- 1 ripe and juicy California Bartlett pear
- freshly ground pepper
- 4 thick slices gouda cheese
Spread each slice of the bread generously on one side with about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, making sure to spread it right to the edges of the bread.
Flip the slices over, onto a cutting board or plate, and spread the other side of each slice of bread thinly with about 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, also spreading it right to the edges.
Working with only two of the slices (which will be the bottoms of each sandwich), lay 2 onion slices onto each. Cover the onions with 3 slices of pastrami, folded or bunched to fit.
Slice the pear vertically into pencil thick slices. Use the tip of a paring knife to cut out the core from the middle slices. Lay the pear slices on top of the pastrami, cutting pieces to fit any gaps. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground pepper.
Lay the slices of gouda cheese on top of the pears, and flip the remaining bread slices on top with the mayonnaise side out.
Heat a dry skillet (non-stick or cast iron) over medium heat. Use a spatula flipper to lift the sandwiches and put them into the skillet. Cook them until the bottom is light brown and crispy, then flip them and cook the other side until browned and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.
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