Butternut Squash And Bacon Grilled Cheese

Butternut squash and bacon grilled cheese

Plans to make grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner plus a craving for something fall-ish inspired this simple but fulfilling sandwich.

To make it, I started by roasting a small butternut squash in what I call the Thomas Keller way, after making his butternut squash soup. Simply halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, rub it with canola oil, season it with salt and pepper, and stuff a sage sprig in each cavity. Roast the squash flesh side down at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender.

Butter the insides of two slices of bread (I used rye but think sourdough would be really good) with Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery's cultured butter with maple and sea salt. (They sent me a sample to try, and I've been putting it on everything.) Butter the outside of each slice with salted butter.

Scoop the squash from one half and spread it on the bread. (Save the other half for another use.*)

Crumble some goat cheese over the squash.

Top with three slices of crispy bacon.

Cook over medium to medium-high heat until golden brown and toasty.

Flip and cook on second side until golden brown and toasty.

Place on a plate, cut in half, and dig in!

Butternut squash and bacon grilled cheese

This grilled cheese had the perfect hint of sweetness from the maple butter, savory depth from roasting the squash with sage, a nice salty crunch from the bacon, and a balancing tanginess from the goat cheese.

Butternut squash and bacon grilled cheese

*To use up the rest of the roasted squash, I simply boiled some pasta, saving a little of the cooking water before draining it, and stirred maple butter, the squash, some goat cheese, and cooking water as needed to adjust the consistency into the pasta.

What would be on your perfect fall grilled cheese?