When Suzanne Goin makes a grilled cheese, you can rest assured that grilled cheese wants to be seen. She knows she's a looker.
This is how she got that way: Goin toasts the bread before adding the cheese and some caramelized shallots, then she finishes the whole thing in the oven. Doing so makes sure the cheese is evenly melted between those crusty--not soggy--layers.
1/2 apple (such as Pink Lady or Fuji), cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over high heat. When butter begins to foam, add shallots and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula, until shallots begin to soften and caramelize, 4–5 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, add 1 Tbsp. butter and swirl in pan to melt butter and coat bottom of pan. Add 2 slices of bread to pan and cook until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, 2–3 minutes. Transfer bread, toasted side down, to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining butter and bread slices. Divide cheese evenly among bread slices; top cheese with reserved shallots.
3. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until cheese is melted, 7–8 minutes.
4. Combine arugula, apple slices, lemon juice, and oil in a large bowl; toss to coat and evenly distribute. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Press 2 pieces of bread together, melted cheese sides in; halve sandwich on a diagonal and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining bread slices. Divide salad between plates.