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Grilled Gruyère on Rye with Crisped Sage and Pink Lady Slices + Pink Moscato for #SundaySupper

This week bloggers with the Sunday Supper Movement have partnered with Gallo Family Vineyards celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month. Yes, that is a thing. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. But I now have it set as a recurrence on my calendar.

Our mission:  to get adventurous with our grilled cheese sandwiches to discover the ideal combination of taste and texture. And – whether it’s a sweet, savory or spicy creation – to find the perfect wine with which to pair it. Click to read Gallo’s post about Grilled Cheese

Though I was excited to participate in this celebration of the crisp, buttery, and gooey American classic, I was also extremely nervous. My dilemma: I haven’t made a grilled cheese sandwich since, probably, college and my palate then was not very discerning. Back then, food was merely sustenance whereas now, it’s sustenance mixed with creativity and panache – I hope!

Asking friends for advice didn’t help either. Most people have very definitive ideas about what makes the best grilled cheese sandwich. One friend proudly told me that the secret to his grilled cheese is "real butter, fake cheese." I think he was kidding; I hope he was kidding. Another friend asserted the best grilled cheese requires three different cheeses, including mozzarella, pepper jack, and one other. Maybe, it's true, as they both claim that grilled cheese should only be bread and cheese.

Still baffled, I decided to host a grilled cheese garden party to jump-start my recipe development.  I learned a lot that day. I provided a variety of ingredients for my recipe testers, with everything from nasturium blossoms to prosciutto and radish flowers to dandelion pesto. I pickled onions, made berry jam, and crisped sage leaves. I offered six different kinds of cheese and four different kinds of bread.

What I discovered: it's all about the extras. Well, it’s not all about the extras. There are some basics…

What I learned about the bread: choose a hardier bread. Breads with dense crumb stand up better on the grill. Brioche was tasty, but its pillowy density didn’t work well as a sandwich.

What I learned about the cheese: use thin slices in multiple layers. While thick slices of cheese are great to grab off the cutting board, thinner slices melt more easily. Makes sense, right?

What I learned about the extras: pile ‘em on! Well, it’s a balance, I suppose. Lots of extras added personality and intrigue to the sandwiches. But you have to make sure that there is a balance of extras plus cheese so that it all melts together into gooey deliciousness.

What I learned about temperature: keep your heat low and melt slowly. Turning up the heat too high resulted in burnt bread and unmelted cheese.

As for the wine…initially I had hoped to pair a grilled cheese sandwich with Gallo's Pinot Noir. Because, in my mind, you can never go wrong with Pinot Noir. But, in the end, I opted for Gallo's Pink Moscato because it’s softer and lighter-bodied.

The grilled cheese recipe I’m sharing is more delicate; I wanted the wine to match the flavors and not overpower them. 

Grilled Gruyère on Rye with Crisped Sage
 and Pink Lady Slices + Pink Moscato
by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

This recipe, in my mind, is the ideal combination of taste and texture. The rye loaf had a nice heft that allowed the gruyère to melt completely without charring the bread. The Pink Lady apple slices contrasted with the crisp sage leaves for a complex mouthfeel and burst of flavor.

Ingredients makes 1 sandwich
  • 2 slices of German rye bread
  • butter
  • canola oil
  • gruyère, thinly sliced
  • Pink Lady apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • sage leaves
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper (I used green peppercorns, but use what you have)


Crisped Sage Leaves
Melt butter in a small skillet with a splash of olive oil. Heat until the butter-oil mixture begins to bubble and get foamy. Lay your sage leaves in the pan in a single layer with space between them. Watch them carefully as they will go from crisped to burnt quickly. Once the edges begin to curl, flip the leaves over and crisp the other side. Remove crisped leaves to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Melt butter in a skillet or grill pan on low heat. Butter your bread on one side and place it butter side down on the hot pan. Layer cheese, apples, cheese, and sage leaves on top of that bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add more cheese, more apples, and a final layer of cheese on top of that. Then top it all with another slice of buttered bread – this time with the butter side up.

Once the cheese begins to melt on the bottom half of the sandwich, check the bread. It should be crisped and turning brown. Flip the sandwich over and grill till, again, the bottom cheese is melted and bread crispy.

Remove sandwich to a cutting board and slice in half. Serve immediately.

More Grilled Cheese Creations...

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

More Gallo Fun...
Find Gallo Family Vineyards – on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, and on YouTube. Click to find Gallo wines near you: store locator.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.


  1. Wowwww! You really went above and beyond with this recipe. Having a grilled cheese party sounds fun and you really inspired me with that idea. And pink moscato? I'm all about moscato, so bring it on!

    1. Thanks, Linda. Yes, the grilled cheese party was fun. It's been requested again. Will do it soon.

  2. Pink Lady apples are my favorite apple and I've never thought to put them in a grilled cheese. Total awesomeness with it and the wine pairing. Fun party idea too.

    1. I had hoped to use Pink Pearls - they are actually pink inside - but they won't be ready for another four months or so.

  3. A Grilled Cheese Party??? LOVE this idea! And I adore your grilled cheese as well (apples and Gruyere are such a lovely pairing).

    1. Thanks, Liz. What a fun party...I needed the inspiration!

  4. I am going to get back into Sunday Suppers just as soon as my life slows down enough to breathe....LOL....great job Cam

    1. Can't wait to see your posts. Thanks, Wendy...I was a little nervous as this was on my first sponsored post for #SundaySupper.

  5. I love Rye bread!! I almost did a sammie today soley for Rye bread, lol. I want to come to this grilled cheese party!

  6. I love the rye bread! I just love your sandwich!

  7. Sounds like a delicious combo! I need to host a grilled cheese party - genius!!

    1. You definitely do. I learned so much from what everyone put together.

  8. I can't wait to add this to my repertoire

  9. WOW I want to be invited to your next party!!

  10. What a delicious combination! I love everything you have going on here!

  11. This is a gorgeous combination of flavors and textures!

  12. Oh my goodness - what a great combination!

  13. Love crispy sage. what a great idea to add sliced apples!


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