Pumpkin Hazelnut Grilled Cheese

I’m gonna get this out of the way immediately—my husband didn’t like this grilled cheese sandwich.

I, on the other hand loved it so much I almost finished two of the four sandwiches I made. Uh huh.

Let me tell you why.

This grilled cheese sandwich is buttery & crispy and just when you think you’re crunching into a bite of the grilled bread, you realize it’s a hazelnut. The hazelnut brown butter makes it extra crunchy. I love extra crunchy. Who doesn’t? That dude who ordered his hash browns to be NOT crispy at that restaurant we went to. That’s who!

You’ll find creamy sweetness from the pumpkin, a hit of sage and a subtle note of anise in this sandwich. There’s something kinda sausage-like about it, yet it’s 100% vegetarian.

Maybe that’s why I loved it. Maybe that’s why the husband didn’t…

You can’t always please others, riiiight?

I was just about to get into how you should please yourself…but things got dirty.

AHHHH.

And we’re off!

OK. First item on the TO DO LIST. Roast a pumpkin.

Cut it up into 4 pieces. Salt & pepper with olive oil.

ROAST.

While the pumpkin is roasting, throw some hazelnuts in the oven. It takes about 6-8 minutes at 350F.

When they’re done, put them in a towel and let them sit for a bit. Use the towel and rub off the skins. EASY.

Let’s get stuff assembled while the pumpkin roasts.

We need to work on the hazelnut brown butter.

Put the nuts in a small saucepan. Brown them a bit. Then chop them.

Add the nuts back to the pan with the anise. Shake things up. We’re just getting the anise heated up.

Now add in the butter and the sage. We’re gonna brown it.

BEAUTY.  Let it sit for a bit and then remove the sage leaves.

This is your hazelnut brown butter.

Pumpkin is done roasting. Scrape the insides out into a bowl. Add a little bit of olive oil to the pumpkin.

Get your bread ready.

Top one side with cheese & hazelnut butter.

Add the pumpkin on top.  Put the other piece of bread on top.

Butter both sides and grill on a grill pan or a sandwich press.

I have a feeling YOU will like it. I know you will.

Pumpkin Grilled Cheese w/ Hazelnut Butter

makes 4 sandwiches

recipe slightly adapted from ‘wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal

  • 1 pound pumpkin, seeded & cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. of mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 tablespoons Hazelnut Butter (see below)
  • 1-2 tablespoons salted butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

Toss pumpkin slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a sheet pan. Season pumpkin with salt & pepper and place in the oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until soft.

Preheat grill pan. Removed the pumpkin from the oven, add to a large bowl and mash with a fork. Season with remaining tablespoon of oil and salt & pepper to taste.

Place a thin layer of mozzarella on 4 slices of bread. Top with an even spread of hazelnut butter, followed by a layer of pumpkin. Cover with the 4 remaining bread slices. Butter both sides and grill 2-3 minutes per side on grill pan. Once cooked, remove, cut into halves & serve.

Hazelnut Brown Butter

(makes about 1/2 cup)

  • 4 tablespoons shelled hazelnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 sage leaves
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet over medium-high heat, toast the hazelnuts until deep brown in color, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the skillet, finely chop, and return to skillet. Add the anise seeds and allow them to toast for a few seconds, constantly shaking the pan to avoid burning. Add the butter and sage and stir constantly. Season with salt & pepper and continue to stir until the butter has a nutty brown color. Transfer butter to a container, remove sage leaves and refrigerate. Once the butter has cooled, stir to ensure that all ingredients are evenly mixed. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to4 weeks.

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65 Comments

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  • October 31, 2012

    Oh this looks so good! The hazelnuts, the sage, the pumpkin…the CHEESE! Winner, winner!

  • October 31, 2012

    WOAH, they looks incredible. How clever, what a fantastic combo!

  • October 31, 2012

    Lovely, today is pumpkins day for everybody! it looks great. Happy halloween ;)

  • October 31, 2012

    This recipe blows me away…. so creative!

  • October 31, 2012

    I just hate when I make a bomb recipe and my man doesn’t like it! Why don’t you like this, it’s so goooood?!!

  • October 31, 2012

    I’m really not a fan of pumpkin but this just looks SO GOOD!

  • jenny
    October 31, 2012

    ooooh! you have the wichcraft cookbook! that’s one I’ve been eying for a couple of years. do you think it’s worth purchasing, tracy? how many recipes have you made?

  • October 31, 2012

    Genius Tracy. Just. Genius.

  • October 31, 2012

    Whoa, girl. Whoa.

  • October 31, 2012

    shut the front door. You are an evil, delicious, genius.

  • Preeeeetttty sure I’d need to make a double batch of these because I’d drink the hazelnut brown butter before it even made it to the sandwich. Good gracious.

  • KT
    October 31, 2012

    You just shut it down. Please write a book.

  • TRACY YOU DID IT AGAIN!!!!

  • October 31, 2012

    I’m drooling! I am definitely going to try this!

  • October 31, 2012

    I think my brain just imploded at the thought of these incredible flavors all coming together on a lovely carb sandwich. Bring. It. On.

  • October 31, 2012

    Would it be ghetto to use canned pumpkin? I know….it wouldn’t be the same. But geez louise that looks good!

    xo
    cortnie

  • October 31, 2012

    Damn, Tracy! These look phenomenal! I think I agree with Stephanie though – I’d drink the hazelnut brown butter before making it into the sandwich! Hot damn. I’ll definitely be making these.

  • October 31, 2012

    These look amazing! I’m all about the crunch :)

    That hazelnut brown butter is too much…Except I’m not a big fan of anise. What do you recommend instead? I’m thinking fennel seed, if it’s supposed to add a sausagey taste? (sausagey…not exactly a cute word…haha)

    • Tracy
      October 31, 2012

      Fennel would be absolutely fine!

  • Jessica
    October 31, 2012

    Awhile back when you did the mini apple cheesecakes I was like woah, Tracy is really killing it this fall! But now with pumpkin grilled cheese?!! You have made your way into my kitchen on the ipad as i scramble to make this! I hope my waistline can keep up. (I might have to follow up with one of your salads/juice cleanses after all of this shutterbean fall goodness).

  • October 31, 2012

    This looks like lunch! not just lunch, though. Lunch!

  • October 31, 2012

    Just when I thought, No! More Pumpkin recipes! This blew me away and I hope to make it in the future before pumpkins are out of season. :D

  • October 31, 2012

    Oh man! Your husband kinda sounds like mine. To be festive I made Mac N Cheese with pumpkin purée in it and he took one bite and said, “Meh, not my favorite.” I appreciate your pumpkiny creativity Tracy!

  • Arianne
    October 31, 2012

    As soon as this webpage loaded and I saw the picture saying “pumpkin grilled cheese with hazelnut butter” I thought to myself. “This is the best thing I’ve ever heard of in my entire life and how can I make it out of things I already have in my kitchen?” (answer: I can’t, and that’s sad. I ate homemade pumpkin muffins instead, not as good).

  • October 31, 2012

    I think we should be friends so you can make this for me. I can make it up to you with Halloween bark and pumpkin brownies.

  • October 31, 2012

    Ohmigosh this looks amazing! I was getting worried that the whole ‘pumpkin thing’ was getting overdone (currently in the middle of my second pumpkin spice post!) but you have convinced me its cool to be pumpkin’in!

    :D

    Victoria

  • October 31, 2012

    Oh I KNOW I will like this. That hazelnut buyer alone is amazing. This is just ridiculous, lady. Pffft, soft hash browns.
    Heidi xo

  • October 31, 2012

    You are a genius!

  • Anna
    October 31, 2012

    I’m drooling over that hazelnut brown butter. Can the lazy of us just use canned pumpkin instead of roasting it? Maybe warming it up a little bit would be helpful so its not cold and gluey in the sandwich…

    • Tracy
      October 31, 2012

      I think you could. I would add a little bit of brown sugar in it. The roasted pumpkin had SOOO much flavor and sweetness that canned pumpkin lacks.

  • Corisa
    October 31, 2012

    I can’t even take how great of an idea this is ! it souds out of this world ! i believe if you ever had a resturant with your recipes… you’d make it far!

  • November 1, 2012

    Wow! That’s all I can really think about right now. This look fantastic!!

  • November 1, 2012

    ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. Must. Have. Now.

  • November 1, 2012

    omg this looks too yums. write a cook book soon pls :)

  • November 2, 2012

    I love your recipe creations. GENIUS!

  • Ann
    November 4, 2012

    I am slightly obsessed with pumpkin, especially roasted. I can already taste this and it IS amazing.

  • November 5, 2012

    This is basically genius. You’re amazing. xx

  • November 7, 2012

    TRACY!! I don’t even know what to say this looks so good!!!!!!!!!!!!! AH!

  • November 8, 2012

    killer. insane. love, love, love.

  • November 8, 2012

    This sounds extraordinary. I’m intrigued with your hazelnut butter too!

  • November 9, 2012

    wowie wow wow

  • November 11, 2012

    These are two of my favorite things combined, grilled cheese and pumpkin. It’s a party in my mouth.

  • November 12, 2012

    So… I’m thinking the Booze Hound wouldn’t be the biggest fan of this either, but I think it’s a great idea and BY FAR the most creative grilled cheese filling ever!! Gold star!

  • DJTopaz
    July 11, 2013

    As soon as I saw sage I thought butternut squash would also be another alternative. Then you mentioned sausage which reminded me of the butternut squash and sausage lasagna I made (martha stewart recipe). I think it’d be great in sandwich form.

  • September 26, 2014

    Thanks for adding this to your Friday List today – I need to spend more time perusing your archives for gems like hazelnut brown butter. Damn, girl!

  • Candy Ca
    October 1, 2014

    Thanks to this recipe. My husband just asked me for a divorce, he wants to move across the country and be your secret stalker. Don’t worry, he is easy to catch… just follow the trail of grilled breadcrumbs.

    • Tracy
      October 1, 2014

      OMG. HAHAHA. WHAT.

  • October 22, 2014

    We absolutely love your pumpkin grilled cheese! We loved it so much that we featured it in one of our latest wedding blog posts – “13 Pumpkin Goodies to Serve at Your Wedding.” With the blog post we are also doing a pumpkin recipe contest. Even though we featured your recipe on the blog, please feel free to also submit a recipe for the contest!

    Thanks so much for posting such a unique pumpkin recipe, so delicious!

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