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Insert Joke About Cutting the Cheese Here.

I was at the grocery store the other day, and I saw a hunk of cheese.

A hunk of cheese that, it appeared, had no earthly business sitting in a grocery store in Fayetteville, NC.

Sage Derby Cheese

I moved on.

Then I came back.  Then I picked it up.  I stared at its martian green marbles, tried sniffing through the plastic.

Then, instinctually, I set it back down.

No earthly business, I thought.

But I came back again.

It’s just so enticingly green, I thought.  I love green things.  Green is the color of nature.  And dragons.  And travel.  All of the things I love.

(Okay, so travel isn’t green per se, but green is the color of U.S. paper currency.  Which allows me to travel.  So there ya go.)

Green is also the color of mold, which, okay in most cases maybe isn’t a good thing, but I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that mold and cheese belong together.

Just like me and Scott Bairstow.

He just doesn’t know it yet.

So by that logic, this must be the BestCheeseInTheWorld.

So I bought it.  And there, in the store, through the miracle of modern technology, I found a recipe to use it with as well.

Since I had no idea what this cheese tasted like, I didn’t want to risk buying it and have it sit in my fridge for a decade while I, still rife with indecision, decided what flavors would go well with it.

While I was at it, I also did a little background research a la Wikipedia.  Apparently it’s sage — not mold — that creates the marbled effect (hence the name), and it’s pronounced daaahrby — not derby — with a proper English accent, as the British are wont to do.

When I got it home and ripped into the packaging with the ferocity of an 11-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, (hey — I like my cheese), I actually found the flavor pretty mild.  Nothing to get worked up about.

But the open-faced sandwiches I ended up making with it?

Those are worth mentioning.  And I would venture to say that you don’t need to hunt down Sage Derby cheese to make these bad boys.  Any good melting cheese will do the trick.

They’re open-faced corned beef, cheese, and pickled onion sandwiches.  I found the original recipe here, on, and it’s everything you could look for in a summer weeknight meal:  it’s fast, and it uses the broiler so you don’t need to heat up the entire house with the oven.

To make them, you will need:

  • 1/2 onion, sliced paper-thin
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 slices of Irish Soda Bread or French Bread or some kind of thick, crusty bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • Spicy Mustard (like Dijon)
  • Thin-sliced corned beef
  • Sage Derby cheese (or some kind of good melty cheese you know you like)

1.  Slice your 1/2 onion as thin as possible.  This would be much, much easier with a mandoline.  You know.  In case anyone wants to buy me one.

2.  Stick the onion in a bowl, and add 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar…

…2 tablespoons of water…

…2 tablespoons of sugar…

…and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Toss to coat, cover the bowl, and stick it in the fridge.

3.  Preheat your oven’s broiler.

(Um.  I don’t have a photo of that.)

4.  Slice your bread as thick as you’d like.

5.  Spread a thin layer of mayo and spicy mustard.

6.  Remove your pickled onion from the fridge and drain the excess liquid, then add that to your bread slices and top with corned beef.

7.  Slice your cheese thin and add that as the final layer.

8.  Place your sandwiches on a baking sheet and stick ’em 6-8 inches under the broiler for 3-4 minutes.

Watch close — you don’t want to burn the cheese!

9.  Okay, so it looks like boring peasant food, but trust me.  Just take a bite.

Feel better?

Open faced corned beef cheese sandwich with pickled onions

I mean, if I’d slapped a French name on it, like Croque-Monsieur, you’d be all over these puppies.

I know we were.

Two nights in a row.


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Everything on that sandwich looks good… I am not sure what to say about the cheese other than your very adventurous…if it is sage flavoured its probably ok….. but if your talking green cheese a really good idea would be if it was pesto flavoured,

Have you melted some of that on a couple of eggs and made green eggs and ham yet ? lol


Mmm, pesto cheese! You might’ve just come up with your million dollar idea. ;)


oh man, oh man…that looks good! I finally got myself weaned off an intense cheese kick and now…all I want is cheese and summer sausage, cheese on open-faced sandwiches, cheese on homemade pizza, cheese on pasta…

I tried this green onion and garlic cheese from Trader Joe’s once. To die for.


I went to my first Trader Joe’s on this last road trip; unfortunately, I was looking specifically for wine, and they can’t sell it in grocery stores in Maryland! So all I did at Trader Joe’s is use the toilet. But NEXT time I’ll be prepared to buy some of the awesome stuff (like green onion and garlic cheese) I keep hearing about! ;)



I love Sage Derby cheese. After I find some good corned beef, I will definitely be having this sandwich.


DO it. You won’t regret it. And I don’t think I’ll ever find a cooler looking cheese. :)


Mouth WATERING. And I don’t even like the looks of green cheese.


It’s crazy! But it’s one of those things that’s so ugly it’s cool. At least, that’s the way I looked at it. :)


Looks yum! Something I’d definitely try. I’m intrigued by colorful cheeses…and the French name would’ve scared me off. I guess I’m perfectly comfortable with my peasantness.


Ha! Me too. Sometimes the simplest foods are the best. Though I plan on trying Croque-Monsieur one of these days. I’ll let you know how it turns out. ;)


I would have left off the meat, but man that looks GOOD!!!!!


I’m trying to get my recipe archives organized — I actually have quite a few vegetarian dishes (and dishes that could be easily made vegetarian)! I still like my meat, but I try to make at least 3-4 dinners every week meatless. Baby steps. :)

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