Roquefort Sandwiches with Gingered Beet Marmalade

Ingredients

16 very thinly sliced diagonal pieces of stale baguette, or thinly sliced stale ciabatta
6 ounces Roquefort cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil for brushing bread
2 cups (3 ounces) watercress

Gingered Beet Marmalade

3 medium-large red beets (16 to 18 ounces total), whole and unpeeled
1 onion, quartered, plus’/ onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons raisins or diced dried figs
1/2 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
pinch of five-spice powder, cloves, or allspice

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. To make the beet marmalade: Place the beets, quartered onion, and red wine in a baking pan just large enough to fit them with a few inches of space in-between. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for an hour, or until the beets are tender. Remove, uncover, and leave to cool.
  3. When cool, slip the skin from the beets, then dice in 1/8 to 1/4-inch pieces.
  4. Coarsely chop the cooked onion and combine it with the diced roasted beets and the cooking juices from the pan in a saucepan along with the chopped raw onion, vinegar, sugar, raisins, ginger, and several tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is softened, and most of the liquid has evaporated. Do not let it burn. Remove from heat and adjust flavorings with more sugar and vinegar, for a decidedly sweet-sourish balance.
  5. Season very subtly (a pinch only) with five-spice powder. Set aside. Makes about 2 cups.
  6. To make the sandwiches: Lay out 8 of the baguette slices and spread each thickly with Roquefort cheese. Top each with the remaining slices of baguette and press together well to hold. Brush each side of the little sandwiches with a small amount of olive oil.
  7. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and place the sandwiches in it. Reduce heat to medium-low or medium. Cook the sandwiches until they turn a crisp golden on the first side, press together lightly with the spatula, then turn and lightly brown the other side.
  8. Serve the crisp hot little sandwiches on a plate, garnished with a tuft or two of watercress and a generous spoonful of the beet marmalade.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Grilled Cheese