APRIL 1, 2011


Today kicks off National Grilled Cheese Month. A whole month dedicated to the quintessential “comfort food”. Pair this with a bowl of soup and you really have the perfect meal.


Growing up, we spent the month of August at a tennis resort near La Jolla, California. For me, it was like going to camp each year. The same families came back year after year and our days were filled with lots of tennis, stealing golf carts, movie night, and lunch at the “club house”. As a young child, sitting in the club house with my friends, drinking my “Tab” with lemon and ordering my own lunch was a huge treat. I always ordered the same thing; grilled ham and swiss cheese on pumpernickel bread with a side of cabbage salad. It was grilled perfectly and all year long I would crave this sandwich. I did attempt to make it at home and although it was good, there was nothing better than eating it on the deck of the club house, looking down on center court – watching all the greats play.

Just the other day, I made a fresh batch of our favorite onion marmalade.  In our house, we like to add this to our omelets with a little feta, spinach, and olives, or on turkey dogs with spicy mustard, even a fresh roast beef sandwich with arugula and Gruyere, with a dab of this –  is a good combo.  Since it is the first day of National Grilled Cheese Month, I am honoring the day with a grilled Gruyere cheese sandwich on fresh sour dough bread, smothered in onion marmalade.  I could not be happier!

Onion Marmalade
yield: 1 pint

5 mustard seeds
2/3 cup sucanat (or organic white cane sugar)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 large, brown onion, rough chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 of an 8 oz. jar of marinated roasted red peppers
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
very small pinch of cayenne pepper

• in a heavy duty sauce pan, saute the mustard seeds over high heat.  once they pop, take them out of the pan and set aside.
• in the same saucepan, combine 1/3 cup of sucanat and red wine vinegar and bring to a boil.  once sugar dissolves, add the red onion. bring back to a boil and cover.  let boil for 5 minutes or until softened.
• drain the onions in a colander and put the onions back in the pan along with the mustard seeds. add the 1/3 cup of reserved sucanat and the red wine vinegar and cook over low heat.  the liquid mixture will thicken. once thickened, set aside.
• in another skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.  add the brown onion and saute until translucent and soft.
• add the minced garlic and the chopped, roasted red peppers(drained) and cook until soft.
• add the sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, and the cayenne. stir to combine.
• add the red onion mixture to this and stir.
• pour the entire contents into the work bowl of a food processor, fitted with a metal blade.  puree.
• store in a glass jar, with the lid off until it cools completely.  once cooled, can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 month.