Cave-Aged Gruyere

Cave-Aged GruyereThis Swiss gourmet cheese is one of our favorites. It has a dark rustic, somewhat oily rind that covers a firm, dense textured cheese with salt crystals here and there. Cave-Aged Gruyere is slightly aromatic with a robust, assertive flavor. It is soft yet firm—intense and dignified.

This Swiss Cave-Aged Gruyere is made from rich, unpasteurized Alpine cow’s milk and produced using the traditional cheese-making techniques that have made the region famous.

Swiss Cave-Aged Gruyere is wonderful served with your favorite red wine, some rustic bread and figs or dates. This is also a great melting cheese and one that lends itself well to gratins, fondues, and soups–as it adds more flavor than the traditional shorter-aged gruyere. This cheese will rise to the occasion!

One of our favorite ways to enjoy it is in this Panini recipe with spinach, artichoke hearts, and red pepper.

Panini with Cave-Aged Gruyere
Yields 4 servings

6 ounces fresh baby spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large roasted sweet red pepper, sliced
1/4 pound Cave-Aged Gruyère, thinly sliced or grated
8 slices Acme Pain au Levain

Roast the peppers
You can find great instructions on how to roast the red pepper (three different ways) here on the Kitchn website.

Prepare the spinach
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Set up a metal colander in the sink. Add the spinach to the boiling water and blanch it for 10 to 20 seconds. Strain and transfer to the ice water to cool for a few minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely.

Prepare the artichoke filling
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in the artichoke hearts. Stir for a few minutes, until the artichoke hearts are beginning to color, and add the thyme leaves and the spinach. Toss together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Make the panini
Preheat a panini grill. Top four of the bread slices with the artichoke hearts and spinach. Add strips of roasted pepper, then cheese. Top with the remaining bread and press together. Brush the outside of the bread (top and bottom slices) with olive oil. Place in the panini maker and grill for four to five minutes, until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasty.

Slice in half and serve hot.

Do ahead
You can prepare the artichoke filling several hours in advance of assembling the panini (or even the day before).

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