After our heatwave broke here in Portland (multiple days over 100°F in June!?), I found myself craving hot, delicious, melty sandwiches. I had also just come into some fun peppercress micro greens from Gilded Greens, located here in PDX, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with a sandwich, which rivals all other sandwiches in my arsenal: The Ham and Brie Melt with pickled shallots, honey dijon (Toby’s Honey Dijon Dressing), mayo, and peppercress. I enjoyed this delightful melt with some wavy BBQ chips (because, summer), and our newest beer on the keg, Occidental’s Alt.
Before I get into this too much, I should explain how I approach building a proper melt because perhaps this is your first time attempting one at home. Start with a beautiful loaf of bread; I, myself, fell hard for Pearl Bakery’s Paesano loaf from the Wednesday Park Blocks Farmer’s Market–it’s like fluffy white bread center meets the thinnest, golden crust. It’s perfection for melt-making in my opinion. Slice off up to 1 inch thick slabs, spread one side (this will eventually become the inside of your melt) with mayonnaise, and toss onto a hot (HOT) cast iron skillet until nicely browned. This is a trick to aid in the melting of the brie as well as creating a crunch to the inside of the sandwich. The mayonnaise can be subbed out for butter instead if you prefer. This method should be done with both pieces of bread, though that said, you can also make a melt open faced–so how much bread you use is really up to you.
What I loved about these pepper cress is their spice! They add the perfect amount of crunch and their assertive flavoring means that a little goes a long way! They are packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium as well. You can get your hands on Gilded Greens‘ many micro greens options by contacting them via the Gilded Greens Facebook Page.
Ham & Brie Melt with Pickled Shallots, Honey Dijon, Mayo & Peppercress Micro Greens from Gilded Greens
- 4 Slices of hearty, Italian bread
- 2-3 T mayonnaise
- 2 T Toby’s Honey Dijon Dressing (or other honey mustard)
- 6 oz Applewood smoked ham
- 8 oz Double cream Brie
- 1/4 c Red wine vinegar
- 1 Large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 oz Gilded Greens peppercress
In a small bowl, combine the shallot and red wine vinegar to give them a light pickle; set to side. Apply mayo to one side of each slice of bread and place in a hot cast iron until browned–this will become the inside of your melt. *Assemble one sandwich at a time–showing toasted sides up, place nice fat slices of brie straight to the hot, toasty side and top with greens. For the other slice, slather on the honey mustard and top with ham. Remove shallots from vinegar bath and apply them to the sandwich. Vinegar can be disposed of or reused to dress a salad.
Put sandwich together, apply more mayo, and place back in pan to toast. Apply mayo to the final side and flip! Brown to your preferred level of darkness. Repeat instructions from *asterisk* above for second sandwich.
Slice and serve immediately! This recipe makes 2 sandwiches.