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Gussy up your grilled cheese with the right ingredients. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

If you happen to be missing the days of walking around a farmers’ market and grabbing some fresh ingredients for a simple lunch, Saturday, May 6 can seem pretty far away. That is the official opening day of one of our favorite fresh produce spots, the Westhampton Beach Farmers Market, returning to the village green for its 2024 season.

Until then, there are always the winter markets — no better excuse to bundle up and get out to support local growers, artisans and favorite year-round vendors.

The Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Market (St. Mark’s Church Parish Hall, 40 Main St., Westhampton Beach) is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 27, 2024, and this indoor market has plenty of ingredients to inspire your taste buds.

Chase away the late winter chill with a gooey, homemade grilled cheese with Mecox Bay Dairy cheddar. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Craving a gooey, rich grilled cheese after braving the chill that’s still in the air? Stop at the Mecox Bay Dairy table, say hi to owner and big cheese Art Ludlow, and grab some of his excellent farmhouse cheddar. This English-style cheddar from Jersey Cows is aged for eight months and has a delightfully sweet and creamy texture, making it a perfect base for your sandwiches.

And what’s a grilled cheese without crispy bread? Head to the Newlight Breadworks table for their beautiful and delicious sourdough (read more about them in our recent feature here). Kick up the flavors even more by adding some pickled onions from farmers’ market faves, Horman’s Best Pickles.

Grab your re-usable sack and fill it with farmers’ market finds from our local winter markets. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Not bad for a cobbled together meal at the market, but let’s see if we can add an extra nutrient boost to this lunch plan. Hop back in the car and head over to the nearby East End Food Market at Twin Fork Beer Co. (Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 807 Raynor Ave., Riverhead). You’ll find Urban Coyote Farm microgreens among the vendors, which are freshly harvested and double-washed for crispness. Go for their scallion microgreens to add a punchy bite to the mellow cheddar. Well done! Reward yourself with a sampling of one of Twin Fork’s excellent brews (and perhaps bring home a few cans to go with lunch) before heading home to build your winter market masterpiece.

Here are a few tips:

  • Mayonnaise is crucial and will aid in grilling a lovely, crispy textured bread.
  • Cheddar can be a bit temperamental in its melting factor and golden bread timing. You can always add the extra step by finishing baking the sandwich in a 350-degree oven or 5 minutes in the air fryer for guaranteed gooeyness. 

And of course, maybe grab enough to make an extra for a friend. Grilled cheese loves company.

Grilled Mecox cheddar sandwich with microgreens and pickled onions

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Serves 2 sandwiches


  • 4 slices artisanal sourdough bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick, or more
  • 4 slices plain cheddar cheese, or enough to generously cover the bread
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup pickled onions
  • 1 small handful scallion microgreens
  • kosher salt and ground pepper


  • On a cutting board, spread one side of each of your slices of bread with mayonnaise.
  • Place two of them mayo-side-down in a non-stick pan with the heat off.
  • Top with cheddar slices, overlapping to cover entire slice of bread, followed by pickled onions, then scallion microgreens, then some grated cheddar or gruyere. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground black pepper.
  • Close sandwiches with second slice of bread mayo-side-up.
  • Turn heat to medium and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  • Using a spatula, carefully flip the sandwiches. Season with salt, reduce heat and cook until cheese is melted and bread is evenly browned, about 4-5 minutes more.
  • Slice and serve immediately.