A cheese and banana toastie? Surely it’s a culinary marriage made in hell! Chef Laura Pope teams up with Comté cheese to prove us wrong…
Banana may seem like an unexpected partner for Comté but pairing them together makes abundant sense once you try it – the banana opens up the myriad of flavours within the sweet, nutty Comté. To make the flavours pop even more, try adding a pinch of dried chilli – especially Espelette pepper, which is quite mild and won’t overpower the cheese.
- 100g 8- to 10-month-old Comté, cut into slivers
- 1 ripe banana, cut diagonally into thin slices
- 4 slices, about 2cm thick, of brioche loaf
- Knob of butter, softened so it is easily spreadable
- Pinch of dried chilli pepper, such as Espelette (optional – this depends on the heat of the pepper you are using, and your preference and tolerance for chilli)
1Butter one side of all the slices of brioche and place 2 of them buttered side down. Lay half the cheese over the unbuttered sides of these 2 slices, followed by the banana, a tiny pinch of chilli pepper (if using), then the rest of the cheese. Place the other 2 slices of bread, unbuttered side down, on top of the cheese and banana to make 2 sandwiches with the butter on the outside.
2Start heating a non-stick griddle pan or large frying pan over a medium heat. After a few minutes, once the pan has had time to get evenly hot (but not searingly hot – you don’t want to burn the brioche before the cheese inside gets a chance to melt), carefully place the 2 sandwiches in the pan and press down gently.
3Cook for about 2 minutes, then carefully turn over to cook the other side and press down again. Keep cooking for about 8 minutes in total, turning every 2 minutes, until the Comté has melted – keep checking that the bread isn’t burning and adjust the heat accordingly. If you are using a griddle pan, you can rotate the toasties by 90 degrees when you turn them over to get a cross-hatch effect on each side.
4 Transfer the toasties from the pan to a wooden board, cut into halves or quarters and serve straight away, taking care not to burn your mouth on the molten Comté inside.