Grilled cheese is all about balancing textures and flavors. Which makes this stunner, from chef Hugh Acheson, just about perfect. It's a symphony of crunch and sweetness bound by a melty, nutty cheese.

Serves 2


  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. crushed almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1 cup spinach, stemmed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (5-inch to 6-inch) piece of baguette
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced Comté


    Total time: 30 minutes

    Wrap a brick in foil (you'll use it to weigh the sandwich down so it toasts evenly). Heat a cast-iron skillet (or a medium sauté pan) on medium heat. In another sauté pan on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. butter. Once butter starts to froth, add almonds. Toast 2 minutes, making sure not to burn. Add raisins and cook 1 to 2 minutes. When almonds are toasted and raisins are warm, add spinach to pan. Cook spinach, stirring, until just starting to wilt, about 10 seconds. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Remove from heat.

    Cut baguette in half lengthwise. On bottom half of baguette, place half of Comté. Evenly place spinach mixture on top of cheese. Top with remaining half of Comté and then with other half of baguette. Press down on sandwich with your hand.

    In cast-iron skillet, add 1 Tbsp. butter. When butter starts to froth, lay sandwich in pan. Place foil-wrapped brick on top of sandwich. Give grilled cheese a firm press. Cook 4 to 6 minutes. Remove brick. Add remaining butter to skillet. Flip grilled cheese onto remaining butter and top with brick. Cook until cheese has fully melted, another 4 to 6 minutes. Remove brick and grilled cheese from skillet and let sandwich rest 1 minute. Cut in half and serve.

    From Hugh Acheson, Top Chef judge and author of A New Turn in the South.

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