Grilled Havarti & Apple Sandwiches


Contributing Writer
Vicki McGraw
Elegant Edibles Catering

As I sit here at my kitchen table, I am looking out the window at gentle flurries wafting from the sky, and can see the branches of my neighbor’s willow tree sway in the breeze. So far, this winter has been about as mixed up as can be. As we western New Yorkers like to say, if you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes! This year has been a prime example of that adage. Because of it, our outdoor activities can’t always go as planned, but lunch certainly can!
As a child, one of my favorite school lunches was tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Those two items made up the perfect cold weather comfort menu, and white bread, American cheese and a can of Campbell’s soup were the primary ingredients. Thankfully, as my tastes have evolved, so have my ingredients!
As with so many foods we take for granted, the modest grilled cheese sandwich can easily be given a makeover to take it from good to gourmet. The simple white bread and a plastic wrapped slice of processed cheese of my childhood is not the kind of sandwich I would put on my menu today. There are so many different kinds of breads and cheeses available to us, why stick why the basics? As you know, any bread can be the vessel for a sandwich, and any cheese can be the filling. Thinking outside the box can be a delicious change.
This weekend I participated in a winter festival and decided that the cold weather called for comfort food, so I decided to offer a hearty, homemade tomato soup with a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches. My menu was met by lots of happy, surprised eaters. Who knew mixing up the ordinary could taste so good? I chose a Tuscan garlic bread to surround mozzarella cheese, tomato slices and pesto for a Caprese grilled cheese, and (rather than using Swiss cheese) put dilled Havarti cheese between two slices of marble rye bread. I paired eggy Challah bread with Havarti cheese, thinly sliced apples and honey to make a creamy sandwich with a surprising crunch. Not be left out of the mix, one of the “fan favorites” I made used Brioche bread, maple cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon in a creamy sandwich that everyone said “tasted like breakfast”. Finally, I created a dessert grilled cheese sandwich by filling chocolate Brioche bread with salted caramel cream cheese and grilling it until it was gooey goodness.
I can’t count the times I heard people say they never thought about making grilled cheese sandwiches with anything other than “ordinary stuff”. This my friends, is why I am always telling you to play with your food!! This week I suggest you step outside your grilled cheese comfort zone and try something new!

Grilled Havarti & Apple Sandwiches

(Stacey & Mark’s Favorite!)

  • 8 Slices Challah bread
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced Havarti Cheese
  • 1 tart apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 T honey
  • Butter or margarine, at room temperature to spread easily

Assemble each sandwich using two slices of bread, two ounces of cheese and a few thin slices of apple. Lightly drizzle apples with honey, then spread a very thin layer of softened butter on the outer sides of the sandwiches and place in a pan over medium heat. Cook until sandwich is golden on each side. Be careful when flipping your sandwich so as not to lose the apple slices!

To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.