Comté Croque Monsieur with fig confit and kimchi


  • (Kimchi)
  • 1 large Chinese leaf cabbage
  • 80g coarse salt
  • 400ml water
  • 20g rice flour
  • 110ml water
  • 7 spring onions, cleaned and chopped
  • 16g minced garlic
  • 16g minced ginger
  • 20g sugar
  • 70g Korean red pepper powder
  • 40ml fish sauce
  • (Fig Confit)
  • 5 fresh figs
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • (Béchamel Sauce)
  • 59g unsalted butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 388ml whole milk
  • I large garlic clove
  • ½ tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 85g Comté cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • (Croque Monsieur)
  • 1 large sourdough, sliced thinly (12 slices)
  • 24g Comté cheese x 6
  • Whole nutmeg to grate
  • 6 slices of ham
  • 18g x 6 grated Comté cheese (4-8 month)

This was my first Croque Monsieur experience in France. The recipe has some of my favourite ingredients, and the pairing makes it perfect to enjoy at any time of the day. Serving it with spicy and sweet kimchi elevates it for anyone wanting an extra kick. Leftover kimchi can be stir-fried with rice, topped with grated Comté and baked. Bon appétit!


  1. Cut the cabbage in half, lengthways into quarters and then chop up.
  2. Wash thoroughly, drain then add salt, making sure it is completely coated.
  3. Add the water and leave to wilt for 1.5hours (stirring occasionally).
  4. When the leaves are soft and tender, wash 2-3 times under cold water and drain.
  5. Make a paste with water and flour by whisking both together over low heat.
  6. Set aside and allow to cool.
  7. Mix the spices together with the paste (best to use gloves), then mix with leaves.
  8. Fill a tall airtight jar with the kimchi (3/4 up - not to the brim).
  9. Close the jar and leave overnight at room temperature.
  10. Open up the jar the next day to release any gases.
  11. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Fig Confit

  1. Clean the figs, mix with salt and honey.
  2. Oven roast at 180C fan for 15 minutes until caramelised.
  3. Blitz in a blender and spoon into a bowl.

Béchamel Sauce

  1. In a medium pan, brown the butter slightly.
  2. Whisk in the flour vigorously and pour in the milk.
  3. Continue to whisk until smooth and thickened.
  4. Add the herbs, garlic and nutmeg, then add the cheese and whisk until smooth and thick.

Assembly & Cooking

  1. Brush a large tray of butter and lay 6 slices of bread onto the tray
  2. Apply the fig confit, then the béchamel sauce and grated nutmeg
  3. Top with ham and 24g cheese.
  4. Brush the top slice with fig confit and place the slice onto the fill slices with fig side up.
  5. Top with béchamel sauce and 18g grated cheese
  6. Bake at 200C fan for 12 minutes and serve with kimchi.

Recipe: Selasi Gbormittah

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