- 1 tbsp butter, plus softened butter for bread
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp Parmigiano, grated
- 3 oz Gruyère cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup). If you can, get Franche-Comté.
- 4 slices French or Italian loaf bread
- Dijon mustard
- 6 oz thinly sliced ham, about 6 slices. Black Forest ham
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To make béchamel sauce: In a small saucepan on low heat, melt butter until foamy. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly with a flat sauce whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, stirring continuously, and cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Parmigiano and 2 tbsp grated Gruyère. Reserve.
3. Lightly and evenly butter bread slices on both sides and toast both sides in sauté pan over low heat until just golden brown.
4. Spread one side of each toasted slice with mustard. Evenly place the ham slices and about ½ cup Gruyère cheese on two of the bread slices. Top each with one of remaining bread slices, mustard-side down.
5. Spread béchamel sauce to cover the top of each sandwich (crusts, too). Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Gruyère cheese. Place on oven-safe sheet pan and bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees, then place under lit broiler until cheese mixture on top is bubbling and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Garnish with chives.
Tip: Cover the edges of the bread with the béchamel or they can get a little too crisp in contrast to the rest of the sandwich.