Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Toasty grilled Gruyere Swiss cheese sandwich with smoked salmon and Meyer lemon.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Many moons ago my friend Dennis Kercher shared with me his favorite grilled cheese sandwich – one with smoked salmon, Gruyere, and lemon confit made from preserved lemons. I finally got around to making this fabulous sandwich, but instead of using preserved lemons (most people don’t have those sitting around), I boiled Meyer lemon slices down in salted water. Very tasty, and a great way to use up any smoked salmon left over from a weekend brunch.

Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 slices French bread
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced or shredded
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
  • Butter

Method

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1 In a small saucepan bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add a half teaspoon of salt. When the salt has dissolved, add the slices of lemon to the pan, layering them down flat in the pan. Let water boil away until it is almost all gone and there is just a thin syrup left in the pan. Do not stir while cooking. Remove from heat.

2 Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. While the pan is heating, arrange the sandwiches (next step).

2 Lay out 4 slices of bread. On top of them layer slices of smoked salmon, cheese, and chives. Use a fork to lift the lemon slices out of the pan and add one large lemon slice to each sandwich. Top with a second layer of bread.

3 Butter the top bread slices generously with butter. Once the pan is hot, place the sandwiches in the pan, butter side down. Lower the heat to medium. Let cook for a few minutes until the bottom of the sandwiches are well toasted.

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4 Butter the top side of the sandwiches in the pan. Use a metal spatula to flip the sandwiches over. Press down on the sandwiches with the metal spatula. Let cook until the bottom of the sandwiches is nicely browned. If the cheese isn't melting, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for a few minutes more.

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Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • merd

    Man oh man!

    I did a slightly modified version… but it was delicious! I got a ‘whole clove artisan bread’ with a nice thick crust and almost sourdough-like interior and sliced it fairly thin considering this is a bread I would normallt rip a hunk off and dip in some olive oil. I also used a whipped sweet cream buttermilk butter. Last, when I saw the gruyere at the store, I was unimpressed with the selection at this particular chain, but as I got hungrier by the second decided on a nice soft Wisconsin white cheddar.

    These thinly sliced lemons in caramelized syrup are incredible and this sandwich is fantastic. I am glad I got the white cheddar because the flavors are still complex and all very mild at the same time. The garlic cloves get all toasty and blend delicately with the other flavors. I may make a second sandwich tonight… and may even try using a nice zesty pepper-jack sometime soon.

    I steamed some frozen french cut green beans and am having a double hopped microbrew IPA with this meal and can’t think of a better combination at the time. I know, I’m a geek. I don’t care. This is delicious! Muchas gracias!

  • Lynda

    I have a thing for smoked salmon and cheese. I love these and the lemon is wonderful with it.

    One of my favorites is an open faced toasted bun topped with smoked salmon and OKA cheese slices…

    You melt them under the broiler and serve with thinly sliced avocado and fresh dill

  • julie

    I live in NH–where does one find Meyer lemons? This recipe intrigues me.

    You might be able to find preserved lemons at a specialty market. Meyer lemons are grown where they grow other lemons, definitely not in New Hampshire. ;-) They come in season in the winter months. Whole Foods may carry them when they are in season. ~Elise

  • Dana

    I’ve made this twice now for parties. Both were huge hits! And really easy to make.

  • Dennis

    You forgot the chives!! Thanks for the call out.

    Best – Dennis

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Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich