It's a triple threat: smoky (thanks to the Gouda), tart (hello, balsamic vinegar) and marvelously crispy. Its creator, Daphne Oz, slathers the bread with mayonnaise instead of butter, "which gives an insanely crunchy, golden brown crust to the bread, with the faintest hint of sweetness."

Serves 2


  • 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 slices whole grain sandwich bread
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise, at room temperature
  • 1 cup grated Gouda (cheddar, Havarti, Gruyère and taleggio all work, too)
  • 1 semiripe pear, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • Ground black pepper


    Total time: 20 minutes

    In a medium nonstick or stainless skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until onion begins to soften and caramelize but retains some texture, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar, and let liquid reduce and coat onion, about 2 minutes.

    Spread one side of each bread slice thinly with mayonnaise. Turn 2 slices of bread mayo side down and sprinkle with half of cheese. Add a few pear slices and cracks of pepper, top each with a quarter of onion and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Set 2 other bread slices on top of cheese, mayo side up. Remaining onion can be refrigerated in a sealed container up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.

    Wipe out skillet and melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Place sandwiches in skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Set a large, heavy plate or pan on top of sandwiches. Cook until one side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Carefully remove plate (it might be hot) and use a spatula to flip sandwiches. Replace plate and toast second side until golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer sandwiches to a plate, cut in half and serve.

    From The Happy Cook by Daphne Oz. Copyright 2016 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.

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