ABCs and grilled cheese are for kids, right? Wrong! Not in this dish, where we combine the two for ABC (apple, bacon, and cheddar) grilled cheese. It’s made just right for grown-ups, served on sourdough with a side of lacinato kale salad topped with almonds and your homemade vinaigrette. This isn’t your daycare grilled cheese!
Core apple and cut into ¼" slices. Stem kale and coarsely chop leaves. Halve cheese slices. Halve bacon strips.
Cook the Bacon
Line a plate with a paper towel. Arrange bacon pieces on prepared baking sheet and bake until crispy, 10-12 minutes. Remove to towel-lined plate and let cool slightly. Line baking sheet with a clean piece of foil. While bacon cooks, make vinaigrette.
Make the Vinaigrette
Whisk together apple cider vinegar, half the syrup, and 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Season with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Taste, and add more syrup if desired.
Finish the Salad
Add kale to bowl with vinaigrette and massage with your hands until kale starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Massaging vinaigrette into kale will tenderize it, making for a more enjoyable eating experience. Add sliced almonds and half the apple slices (reserve remaining for grilled cheese). Toss to coat. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Assemble and Cook Grilled Cheese
Heat half the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Layer cheddar slices, bacon, and remaining apple on two bread slices. Top with remaining bread, add both to pan, and cook until golden brown, 3 minutes. Add remaining butter and flip sandwiches to brown second side, 2-3 minutes. Transfer sandwiches to prepared baking sheet and bake until warmed through and cheese is melted, 5 minutes.
Plate the Dish
Halve grilled cheese and serve on a plate next to kale salad.