gruyere – a classic that is right for tonight

Gruyere is generally known as one of the finest cheeses for baking and it is so versatile, I am sure it is perfect for what you are making tonight. In quiche, Gruyere adds a savory quality without overshadowing the other ingredients.  It is a good melting cheese, particularly suited for fondues, along with Vacherin and Emmental. It is also traditionally used in French Onion Soup as well as in Croque Monsieur, a classic French toasted ham and cheese sandwich.  Gruyere is perfect in a Chicken or Veal Cordon Bleu. It is a fine table cheese, and when grated, it is often used with salads and pastas.  White wines such as Riesling pair well with Gruyere.  Sparkling apple cider and Bock beer are also beverage affinities.

Gruyere is one of the most famous Swiss Cheeses. This hard yellow cheese, named after the town of Gruyéres in Switzerland originated in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchatel, Jura, and Berne. It is made from cow’s milk and has a nutty, slightly sweet taste with complex musty, mushroom and earthy notes.  Gruyere is sweet but slightly salty with a flavor that varies widely with age; it is often described as creamy and nutty when young then becoming more assertive with age.  When fully aged (five months to a year) it tends to have small holes and cracks that impart a slightly grainy mouth-feel.

I am a huge fan of Gruyere and couldn’t be happier that we offer the finest quality at Vine & Table. If you haven’t already taken advantage of our current sale, do come in before the end of the month and try this wonderful and versatile cheese. And for something deliciously simple, try this Smoked Ham, Gruyere and Caramelized Onion Frittata for your next brunch or light dinner with a salad. If you are not a meat eater, substitute sautéed mushrooms for the ham.  Enjoy!

Smoked Ham, Gruyere and Caramelized Onion Frittata
Serves 4-6


8 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
4 small red potatoes, diced
1 cup diced smoked ham or Canadian bacon
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for finishing top
1/4 cup sour cream
1 bunch chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, cream, Gruyere cheese, salt, and pepper until foamy. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the onion and potatoes and cook thoroughly. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Pull the edges away from the sides of the pan with a spatula so the eggs flow to the bottom of the pan.

When the frittata is half set, add the ham. Transfer the pan to the pre-heated oven. Bake for 10 minutes until puffed and golden. Shower with grated Parmesan cheese and serve garnished with sour cream and chives.


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