Gruyere cheese is a popular hard cheese made from cow's milk. With origins in Switzerland, it is perhaps the best known type of Swiss cheese. Gruyere is also produced in France, but according to French agricultural law, it must have holes, while the Swiss version is solid. This slightly yellow cheese has a nutty flavor that's mildly salty and varies with age. Gruyere is great for both melting (it's a common ingredient in fondue) and eating out of hand. To see how I used this wonderfully creamy cheese, read more.
Since I wanted a recipe that would highlight the pure essence of the cheese, I decided on a gruyere gratin. This dish is simple but wildly delicious. What's not to love about crusty bread and melted cheese? Don't skip the thyme, as it adds a delightful depth. Although the ingredients and technique are simple, the final gratin is complex, crunchy, gooey, and just plain scrumptious. It would be a welcome addition on any Easter table and, paired with a green salad, is a luxurious vegetarian meal.
1 teaspoon unsalted butter Serves 4.
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 loaf white country or peasant bread (about 12 ounces), cut into 1-by-1-by-3-inch strips
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves reserved
1 teaspoon unsalted butter