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French ham and Gruyère sandwiches

Updated: Apr 8

The most common sandwich in France is the famed Croque-monsieur. It can be very complex, as in this Crêpes "Croque Monsieur" with horseradish mustard sauce, or very simple as in this recipe. It is found all over France and is the perfect light snack. The simplicity belies the elegance of the sandwich, beautifully cooked ham and robust Gruyère cheese melted to perfection.

I have adapted this recipe to add a light smear of whole-grain French mustard and some fresh baby arugula. The combination is delicate; the spice from the mustard, a touch of bitterness from the arugula, and the melted ham and cheese are beautiful. These sandwiches need to be served fresh from the oven whilst still hot. The outer crust is crunchy, and the soft inside is perfect together. I could eat these sandwiches all the time. I like to eat them as a meal, with a light soup, or serve them in very thin slices as an appetizer.

Please note this is a light and thin sandwich. Unlike most sandwiches made in India, there are no gobs of mayo and loads of cheese. The sandwich is light and delicate.

For more recipes by Zafar, click here.


1 baguette

Whole-grain mustard, French-style

1/4 lb Grutère cheese, sliced

Smoked or honey-roasted ham


Preheat the oven to broil mode.

Keep the baguette whole or in half. Cut it longitudinally in half. Smear a light layer of mustard across both cut surfaces. Layer the bottom of the baguette side with a slice of ham. Top with cheese.

Layer the baguette on a baking sheet and broil it in the oven. One side will have the cheese on top and the other the mustard. Remove as soon as the cheese is melted.

Garnish the cheese with baby arugula and top with the hot top. Cut into small pieces and serve immediately.

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