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Gruyère with Caramelized Onions Sandwich
From 'wichcraft, by Tom Colicchio

This is one of Tom's favorites, one that showcases how a sandwich can be adapted from a meal. The meal here is French onion soup. Whereas in the soup the onion is the star, with the crouton and cheese to support it, in the sandwich we flip that: the onions serve as the relish. We roast the onions very slowly, caramelizing them, until dark golden brown to balance the assertive and pungent Gruyère. With the rye bread to hint at the Alsatian origin of the soup, we end with something rustic and homey, and yet something that, unlike soup, can be enjoyed while walking down the street.


16 slices Gruyere cheese
8 slices rye bread
1 cup Roasted Onions


Preheat a sandwich press according to the manufacturer's specifications (see Note, below). Place 2 slices of cheese on each of 4 slices of bread. Follow with a generous amount of onions and the other 2 slices of cheese. Close the sandwiches and place in the sandwich press (no need to butter the press or the bread). Close the lid and apply slight pressure. Cook without disturbing for 5 to 8 minutes. Open the press and check for color and temperature: the cheese should be melted and the bread golden. If the bread is sticking to the press, allow it to cook for a bit longer and it will unstick itself. If the press seems to generate more heat on the bottom, flip the sandwich halfway through to ensure even cooking (making sure the ridges in the bread line up). Once cooked, remove, cut into halves, and serve.

Note: If you don't have a sandwich press, you can grill the sandwiches in a hot skillet. Brush the outside of the sandwich with a little olive oil and place in the hot pan over medium-high heat. Press the sandwich by placing another heavy pan on top and reduce the heat to medium-low. When the bottom of the sandwich is golden and crusty, and the cheese has started to melt, flip the sandwich and grill on the other side.

Yield: Makes 4 Sandwiches

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