white truffle grilled cheese

One of my favorite coworkers and food-minded friends gave me an incredible gift this Christmas season and I was absolutely over the moon when I received it:  a bottle of white truffle oil.  Countless times I have watched Mario Batali finish a dish with a few shavings of these highly esteemed funghi and send whatever plate of goodness he has created completely over the top.  However, with truffles ringing in at well over $1,000/pound and being a chef with a moderate budget, I had little intention (or hope) of ever working with them myself…. until now.  As soon as I unscrewed the cap, my nose was on sensory overload with the pungency of the aroma.  I inhaled and instantly knew I was dealing with some serious sophisticated mushroom flavor.  Furthermore, I realized that just a little drop would go a very long way.  If I couldn’t work with truffles themselves, this had to be the next best thing.

Yesterday, the northeast was hit with quite the blizzard and I couldn’t help but think this called for some good old fashioned comfort food with a twist.  Truffle oil grilled cheese anyone?  After getting tangled in the world wide web of food and recipes, I noticed that Fontina cheese and mushrooms were quite the popular combination for this sandwich.  So, I decided to stick with what works, but also add some fresh grated Parmesan, since I happened to have a wedge in the fridge.  And to make this meal complete and balance out the richness of the cheese, I added a peppery arugula salad simply dressed in a lemon and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette.

Creamy melted Fontina and Parmesan cheese + crunchy whole grain bread + woody mushroom flesh + white truffle essence = snowy day indulgent perfection.

We have a winner here, people!

White Truffle Grilled Cheese
Serves 2

6 ounces baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 ounces oyster mushrooms, chopped into bite size pieces
1 Tbsp.  butter
1 cup fresh coarsely shredded Fontina cheese
1/3 cup fresh coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 slices crusty whole grain bread
1 Tbsp. white truffle oil
Sea salt

Preheat panini press.  Melt butter in skillet over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Transfer mushrooms to a medium bowl and let cool slightly, about 2 minutes.  Drain any accumulated juices from the bowl and discard.  Use your hands to toss mushrooms with parsley, Fontina, and Parmesan cheese.  Mixture should bind together and form a paste-like consistency.  Brush one side of each slice of bread with truffle oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Top dry side of two of the slices of bread with the mushroom and cheese paste.  Place dry side of remaining bread down upon this mixture.  Press sandwiches on panini grill approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown and all the cheese has melted.  Serve immediately.

A couple notes:

  • Any mushrooms would work well.  I grabbed what looked fresh.  Use your favorite!
  • If you don’t have a panini press, a good old fashioned fry pan will do just fine!

Simple Arugula Salad
Serves 2

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 large handfuls of arugula

Combine all ingredients except arugula in a small bowl.  Whisk until emulsified.   Place arugula in a medium bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing.

Note:  This dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.


19 Responses to “white truffle grilled cheese”

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  1. Joanne says:

    I’ve made mac and cheese with fontina and mushrooms before and yes. It works. I’m one of those people who can only dream of eating/using a truffle someday. Until then…I’m just going to ogle this grilled cheese and possibly find a bottle of truffle oil myself to make it with. Delicious.

    • KarmaCucina says:

      Mmmmmm… that sounds yummy! I’ve definitely been tempted by Ina’s Truffle Mac and Cheese. She uses truffle butter in this recipe, which is definitely next up on the culinary adventure. However, after working with the oil, I’m convinced “truffle anything” would be delightful.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! I just checked out yours and the photos are making me drool. Cheers.

  2. Peggy says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried the fontina and mushroom combination before! I better get on it! This grilled cheese looks absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Ooh, I wish I had some nice soul who would give the gift of truffle oil! Sandwich looks amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Now that is what I call a grilled cheese sandwich!

    • KarmaCucina says:

      Cheers, Kevin! Love your site… Just entered the blogging world a month ago, but I’ve definitely stumbled upon yours in the past… Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Lauren says:

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it myself. Love the blog.

  6. leslie eaton says:

    The grilled cheese looks amazing!!!

    BTW: To counter the heavy-out-of-our-norm diet of holiday treats/snacka/goodies and wayyy too much good beer, Jay and I made your simple arugula salad a few nights last week. YUM!
    We turned it into a light meal by adding: sliced pear, sliced dried figs, toasted walnuts and shaved parmesan. (would have added some shallot…had we had any on hand). Your lemon/olive oil dressing was perfect!

  7. Corinna says:

    This looks and sounds absolutely divine. I’ll have to try it out. And I love the suggestions about making a mac and cheese with fontina and mushrooms. Enjoy your blog! Happy New Year!

  8. Amazing! I have never tried truffle oil before, but when I do, I hope it is served to me like this!
    – Brittany

  9. KarmaCucina says:

    Just made it for the second time today, but used portobello mushrooms… Whole new level! Would definitely substitute these for the oyster-bella combination down the road.

  10. Skibaxter123 says:

    This morning I was planning menus for our soon-to-happen-ski-week at Lake Tahoe when my daily “Food Porn” pic popped up. Bingo! A fancy grilled-cheese sandwich, simple salad and a cup of homemade tomato soup, served along with a beautiful bottle of red; you’re right, we do have a winner. Our group of skiers will be beating down our condo door for more please! You see, the group is not only skiers, but some belong to our gourmet foodie club too, so we are all competitive and have “lunch wars” to see who can lay out the best spread, eat and clean up in under an hour…we are sure to clench it this year with this menu.

    This is my first time at Karma Cucina, but for now on, I will be cruising back by often. Karma Cucina, you are a blessing!
    My new motto: swoosh, swoosh, yum, yum.

    • KarmaCucina says:

      Skibaxter! What great feedback! I’m flattered and pumped you’ll be serving this sandwich to your crew….

      As a sidebar, I made this for the second time this weekend and used portobello mushroom slices instead of oyster and bella… I don’t know if I simply forgot how wonderful the sandwich was the first time, but I could swear it was even better with the portobello… Perhaps you want to try that or some other combination of random mush… Hmmm.. It’s a win-win however you make it. And funny you mentioned a bottle of red – we were enjoying this lunchtime on Saturday and wishing for a glass of wine to accompany it.

      All the best to you!


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