Attention, fromage-loving Joycean scholars: Cato Corner Farm’s Bloomsday cheese aged one year arrives at the Greenmarket in June (younger specimens are available sooner). The raw-milk farmstead cheese, which has a rich, Gouda-like flavor and nice round finish, was a happy accident that occurred on June 16, the date immortalized in Joyce’s Ulysses—cheesemaker Mark Gillman was going for something else, but realized he had stumbled upon perfection. Every year since, Gillman has made a batch on the 16th, unveiling the previous year’s results that same day. In celebration, we asked ’wichcraft’s sandwich czar Sisha Ortuzar to concoct a sandwich, below. He recommends pairing with a rosé, but why not do as Leopold Bloom would, and wash it down with a glass of Burgundy? --Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite
1/2 -lb. Cato Corner Farm Bloomsday cheese, shredded (available at Union Square Greenmarket, Wednesdays and Saturdays)
1 small bunch pencil asparagus, bottoms trimmed
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
8 slices rustic country bread
1 clove garlic, peeled
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to broil. Place asparagus and sliced onion in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and (1) toss with the olive oil.
(2) In a hot skillet, cook asparagus and onion or place them on a sheet pan and broil until they are slightly charred, about five to ten minutes. Return asparagus and sliced onion to mixing bowl and season with the vinegar and chopped basil; set aside. Toast the bread in the broiler until golden brown on one side only. Set the slices on a plate toasted side up, and rub the garlic lightly on each slice.
(3) Sprinkle approximately one ounce of the shredded cheese on four slices of the bread. Distribute the roasted asparagus and onion over the cheese, and then sprinkle another ounce of cheese over the asparagus and onion. Cover with the remaining slices of bread, toasted side toward the inside of the sandwich. Place sandwich on a hot press or griddle and cook until cheese is melted. Slice each sandwich in half and serve.