You might think I have lost my mind, but really I haven’t. Well at least not when it comes to this sandwich! You see, there is a story behind this sandwich. It goes back to when I was a college exchange student in Austria. Actually, it may even go back to when I was an exchange student my senior year of high school in Germany.
I stayed in Germany with a host family. As spring approached we went on a trip to the Netherlands and looked at campgrounds. We found a place pretty close to the Belgian and German borders. We took the camper up and spent many weekends up there through the spring and summer.
It was during these trips to the Netherlands that I was first introduced to white asparagus. At the time I could not stand the taste of green asparagus (love it now) so it didn’t sound terribly appealing to me. Luckily I tried it because it was a new food love affair.
Problems arose when I returned to the States and was never able to find the allusive white asparagus again. Luckily it is easier to find now, though the season is still way too short!
The story for this sandwich continues as I spent a year in Austria. I lived in a Studentheim, the Austrian equivalent of a dorm. The difference is that it was pretty much an apartment complex for students only. Anyway, this dorm had a small bar. They served a limited drink menu and the only food I remember them serving is this sandwich.
Maybe it is nostalgia, but I really like this sandwich! As this spring approached I got to thinking about it and had to make one. The one served at the bar was on Austrian toast bread with a Gouda like processed cheese, canned white asparagus and mayonnaise if I remember correctly.
I made a few changes, but this is the sandwich I enjoyed. I used a homemade bread, grated smoked Gouda and canned white asparagus. Fresh asparagus would probably work, but like I said the season is short and it can be tricky to find. I didn’t use any mayonnaise, but if you want to try I think a garlic aioli would be good.
Sean and Ewan certainly enjoyed their first try of this fancy grilled cheese. They said “Mommy you make the best lunch ever”! Of course they say this every time they like something, and perhaps the mango with mint they had with it may have influenced them! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Grilled Cheese with White Asparagus
2 slices bread
1 oz. smoked Gouda, grated
4 (approx.) spears white asparagus from a can
Spread each piece of bread on one side with butter. Place one slice, butter side down, in a large sauce pan or on a griddle. Sprinkle on half the cheese, place the asparagus on top, cover with remaining cheese. Place the other piece of bread on top, butter side up. Grill over medium heat until brown and cheese starts to melt, flip and repeat on other side.
NOTE : The amount of asparagus needed with depend on the size of bread you use.
Yields one serving
love it! Though must admit to my envy of your boys’ willingness to eat veggies, etc. One whiff of asparagus–no matter the color–and my girls would refuse to eat the sandwich. I’d eat theirs, though 🙂
I never liked asparagus at that age either. Not until I was 18 did I discover the white asparagus and fall in love. I am very glad my boys are such good eaters. I still don’t know if it is luck or our constantly making them try everything, whatever the case it is wonderful. Enjoy your weekend Liz!
What great memories of Europe, fine cheese, and white asparagus. The homemade bread and flavorful cheese sounds wonderful. Your boys are very handsome, Gretchen, and have great palettes!
Thank you Shanna! The boys certainly do like good food. It is nice to take them to restaurants and never worry about what they will eat. Enjoy your weekend.
What a super and unusual sounding combination, and I love that it has a real history for you. I never thought that white and green asparagus were that different, the only white spears I’ve ever bought (in France 5 or so years ago) being way too tough to eat. Hmph. Time to try again with those I think!
I reckon I’d double up everything (who can eat only one grilled cheese sandwich at a time?!?) and have the mango for pudding. Scrummy 🙂
Nothing wrong with two sandwiches! Good luck with you next venture with white asparagus.
The first question I was going to ask: where do I get white asparagus, but now i see it’s canned. Will check it out in my local store. With smoked Gouda? that sounds really tasty. I have some Gouda in my fridge right now from Amsterdam. I want to eat this sandwich over the weekend. Enjoy your weekend!
Enjoy! It took me a couple stores to find the canned asparagus, but it is worth the hunt. I did just see my first fresh white asparagus last weekend when were we out of town. Happy weekend!
Thank you. They were not in the store close by, I’ll try the bigger one tomorrow. Enjoy Sunday!
A grilled cheese with smoked gouda and homemade bread? Of course white asparagus goes well. Very few things wouldn’t. Add the garlic aioli and even that number is greatly reduced. I have to make this, It sounds so very good!
We just had another round of these sandwiches yesterday! It was cool and dreary so perfect weather. Thanks for the comments and I hope you enjoy. Have a great week John!