FB Market Chef PhotoThis recipe from Sarah Henkin, locavore and head chef at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, features a seasonal spin on the classic grilled cheese. Escarole and caramelized onions break tradition and add some nutrition to the comfort food factor. Henkin suggests experimenting with the recipe by “switching out the escarole for spinach, chard or dandelion greens” or adding cooked chicken or ham to increase the protein and flavor.

You can find Sarah at the Food Wise Booth every Tuesday showing market shoppers how to make simple meals from local and seasonal ingredients. Stop by to see what she’s cooking and to taste samples. In the meantime, heat up your griddle for the recipe below!

Escarole and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Serves 4

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

Salt to taste

8 slices sourdough bread

½ pound escarole, washed, dried well and sliced into bite sized pieces

¼ pound Colby-Jack cheese, shredded

¼ pound white cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add a scant tablespoon olive oil. Add sliced onion and cook gently, stirring occasionally until they turn medium brown in color. Add a pinch of salt, set aside.

Brush both sides of bread slices with a bit of olive oil. Put a layer of the onion mixture on 4 of the slices of bread. Add a layer of escarole and cheese and top with the remaining slices of bread.

Heat a grill pan or non-stick skillet to medium high, grilling the sandwich on one side, pressing down with a spatula, until bread is golden brown. Flip and cook until second side is also golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.


—Sarah K. Choi