Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook




I can’t stand it-one more gathering held inside due to nasty weather. Not from this corner! I’ll show you how to orchestrate that indulgent grilled cheese soiree but, host it outside to welcome spring, the fresh herbs and tender young produce. When I first heard of a friend attending a grilled cheese party, champagne was the beverage served. It would be a fun idea to just offer bubbles-in the way of Proseco (Italian sparkling wine) or locally crafted beer.

For the grill I’ll give you the basic premise, suggest our local artisan cheese options and then offer toppings and bread which hopefully come from your local farmer and  artisan bread maker. Folks can build their own sandwiches of you want to make this a participation party. Just lay out the prepped ingredients and let them do the assembly.

Recipe Foundation

For each version of the grilled cheese sandwich, prepare all of the ingredients first; wash and dry produce and herbs. Chop necessary ingredients like bell peppers, onions, nuts, olives. Build each sandwich on bread and slather the outside of the bread slices with softened butter.

Preheat the grill to medium high heat.

Have all of your sandwiches assembled and place on a tray to transport to the grill.



Once on the grill, you need to test the spots for the correct heat level to gently grill and toast the bread while melting the ingredients-just to the oozing point. This means moving the sandwich around; testing lower heat or high heat. Once browned as desired, move the sandwich to a mildly warm holding area until all of the sandwiches are finished. You might want to put some heavy foil on the low heat side of the grill and pit the sandwiches on to hold and keep warm.

Irresistable Combos with Local ingredients:

  • Pear, Almonds, Gouda, Thyme, Honey Drizzle on Sliced Baguette
  • Cheese source: Caprikorn Goat Gouda-Gapland, MD


  • Fresh Baby Spinach, Red bells, Red onions, Chevre, Shiitake Meltdown
  • Cheese source: Cherry Glen Goat Cheese Boyds, MD


  • Talbot Reserve Cheddar, Chunky Rosemary Tomato Tapenade on Multiseed Whole grain bread
  • Cheese source: Chapel Country Creamery-Easton, MD



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