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 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.
- Butter one side of all the slices bread 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.
- Start 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.
- Cook 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 90º when you turn them over to get a cross-hatch effect on each side.
- 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.
Recipe © Laura Pope