Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another reason to love Mollie Katzen

I don't eat this sandwich as often as I should. I forget about it for months at a time. But usually sometime during the height of apple season, I remember. And I make the sandwich. And I am glad.

It doesn't even have its own page in Moosewood--it's one in a list of sandwich possibilities. I tried it the first time more years ago than I can remember and wondered how such a simple combination could taste so good. I eat toasted cheddar all the time, practically every day, but somehow the addition of apples and walnuts elevates it to something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's not complicated. You need good sandwich bread, a bit of butter, a few walnuts, an apple, some sharp cheddar. You put the lightest trace of butter on the bread, cover with thin slices of apple, sprinkle with walnuts, top with cheese. Bake in the toaster oven or under a broiler in the oven. The bread ends up lightly toasted, the apples soft, the nuts crunchy, the cheese melted and bubbly. The tang of the apple cuts the richness of the cheese and nuts. If you arrange it carefully enough at the beginning, in each bite you get a bit of everything. It is especially good washed down with a cup of fresh apple cider (especially the cider from Outlook Farms, which is unpasteurized and utterly delicious).

And at the end, when all that's left is crumbs, you will look longingly at your plate and promise yourself that you will not wait til next year's apple season to make it again. The only saving grace of forgetting about such as simple and delicious treat is that when you remember and make it and eat it, it is like you are discovering it anew.


Lisa-Marie said...

You know, I eat toasted cheese with chutney all the time, and yet I'd never have thought of putting fresh apple on it. I just have, and it is wonderful. Its like summer and autumn all together!

I was just thinking it would be lovely will mulled cider.

Katharine Weber said...

What a wonderfully simple treat. Like the food writing of Laurie Colwin -- obvious, inevitable, yet somehow surprising.