- Twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices dense peasant or sourdough bread
- 6 ounces thinly sliced Gruyère cheese
- 1 pound thinly sliced baked smoked ham
- 12 arugula leaves, stemmed
- 1 cup shredded sharp English Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Whole grain mustard, for serving
- Top half of the bread slices with the Gruyère and ham. Trim the overhang and add to the sandwiches. Top with the arugula and Cheddar.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Dip 1 side of the remaining bread slices into the egg; top the sandwiches with the bread, egg side up, and sprinkle with the parsley, tarragon and thyme.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter on a cast-iron griddle. Add the sandwiches, egg side up, and cook over moderately low heat until golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes; transfer to a work surface. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter on the griddle. Return the sandwiches to the griddle, egg side down. Cook, pressing lightly with a spatula, until golden and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve with mustard.
A Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah blend from California is a lovely match for the grilled cheese. Its toastiness matches the smoky flavor of the ham, and its peppery, lavender tones echo the Provençal herbs.