Open-Faced Croque Monsieur
with spinach and strawberry salad
Cheesy, bubbly croque monsieurs don't have to come from a French cafe. A version of this meal, last featured in 2016, shows how easy they are to make at home. Paired with a fresh spinach and strawberry salad, you'll feel like you're dining at the finest of cafes!
- Cheese, gruyere or swiss - 4 oz , sliced
- Bread, sandwich - 4 slices
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Flour, all-purpose - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Milk, any type - 1 cup
- Nutmeg - pinch
- Mustard, Dijon - 4 to 8 tsp
- Ham, black forest - 8 oz
- Vinegar, balsamic - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Strawberries - 1 cup , quartered or sliced if large
- Baby spinach - 6 oz
Make dressing - Whisk together balsamic vinegar and mustard (portion for salad) in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with some salt and pepper (Can be done up to 5 days ahead.)
Cheese - Slice cheese if not pre-sliced. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Strawberries - Prep as directed.
Heat oven to 400F / 204C. Place bread onto a sheet pan and toast on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes each.
Make bechamel sauce for croque monsieur - Melt butter in a small saucepan, heated over medium heat. Whisk flour into melted butter and cook for ~2 minutes.
Pour in milk, whisking constantly until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and add nutmeg. Season with some salt and pepper.
Spread mustard (portion for sandwiches) onto bread and then top with ham, gruyere, and bechamel (divide ingredients across slices of bread). Place onto a sheet pan and then broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese and bechamel are golden and bubbly.
Toss spinach and strawberries with dressing in a serving bowl.
Enjoy open-faced croque monsieurs with spinach salad on the side!