Archive for Cheese

Summer vegetable salad with lemony ricotta

Think of this salad as the little green dress of summer: Add all kinds of vegetables:  lightly blanched fiddleheads and asparagus, yellow pattypan squash, baby zucchini, fennel, and slender green beans. When it comes to greens, take advantage of what comes into season, including herbs. A few sprigs of soft tarragon or some mint leaves will add flair. The star of this show, though, is ricotta. It’s mixed with lemon rind and placed on the greens like a puff of whipped cream on dessert.


2     tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
6     tablespoons olive oil
1. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper.
2. Gradually whisk in the oil until the dressing emulsifies. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.


Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4     cup whole-milk ricotta
Finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon

1     fennel bulb, tops trimmed and cut into 4 wedges
1     pound slender green beans, trimmed
2     endives
1     head frisee lettuce or 1 head red-leaf lettuce, cored and torn up

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have on hand a large bowl of ice water.
2. In a bowl, mix the ricotta with the lemon rind and a pinch of salt.
3. Add the fennel to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add the green beans and cook an additional 2 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Use tongs to transfer the vegetables to the ice water. Spread the vegetables on paper towels until you are ready to toss the salad.
4. In a large bowl, toss the greens and vegetables. Add dressing, a little at a time, until the salad is lightly dressed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange the salad on 4 plates. Garnish with ricotta and sprinkle with a little more dressing.


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Summer squash, basil, and goat cheese

Even right off their prolific vines, summer squash can be watery and sometimes bitter. Cook them slowly in plenty of olive oil and they turn sweet but stay moist and summery, so you can take advantage of the beautiful golden color. As you cook the sliced squash, mash the rounds against the sides of the skillet to break them up. Then toss the squash wit leaves of fresh basil, and crumbled goat cheese.

3 tablespoons olive oil
7 small summer squash, thinly sliced
About 20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet over low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the squash and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until the squash soaks up the oil and is not at all watery. As the squash cooks, use a wooden spoon to mash it against the side of the pan. Stir in half of the basil leaves. Top with the goat cheese and remaining basil leaves.

Boston Globe

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Fresh Goat Cheese

This is a simple, tangy cheese and takes little active time and just a day to become cheese. Try parsley, chives, dill. These times and salt return a semi-firm, spreadable cheese with bright flavor. More salt, and more time, will give a drier, firmer cheese.

1 quart goat milk
1 cup buttermilk
3/8 cup lime juice
1 tablet rennet
sea salt to taste
fresh herbs to taste

Over low heat, bring goat milk and buttermilk to 190* in a stainless steel pan. (Aluminum or cast aluminum will not work). Slowly add lime juice (or lemon, or white vinegar) and rennet while stirring until all is added and mixed thouroughly into milk, but only until just combined. It will curdle.

Cover and let cool undisturbed at room temperature 12 hours. Add salt to taste. Drain into a cheesecloth lined strainer. Bring cloth together and tie. Hang over bowl or sink until it is the consistency you want. Hang for 12 hours, squeezing occasionally, adding herbs and salt as cheese firms.

Seasoned With Abandon

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Mexican Chicken Flatbread

4 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup refried beans
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups store-bought pico de gallo or salsa
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep: 5 min Total: 15 min (Quick)

  •  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place tortillas on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until crispy, about 5 minutes each side.
  • Spread 1/4 cup refried beans on each tortilla. Top with 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 cup chicken. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon cumin over the tortilla. Return tortillas to oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Top flatbreads with 1/2 cup pico de gallo or salsa. Serve immediately.

Mexican chicken flatbread

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Harvest Pasta Bake

1 butternut squash (2 lb.), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red onion, cut lengthwise in half, then sliced crosswise
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. (1/2 of 1 lb. pkg.) rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded cheese, divided
1/4 cup croutons, crushed

Heat oven to 400ºF. Combine first 4 ingredients in 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake 30 to 40 min. or until squash is tender. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add to squash mixture with cream cheese and 1 cup of shredded cheese; mix lightly. Top with crouton crumbs and remaining shredded cheese. Bake 20 min. or until heated through.

Kraft: Harvest Pasta Bake

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Easy Cheddar Wafers

Chef Martha McGinnis learned to make these cheesy wafers from her mother, who served them every Christmas.

1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a standing mixer or food processor, beat the cheese, butter, celery seeds, Worcestershire, dry mustard, Tabasco and cayenne on medium speed or process until smooth. Add the flour and beat on low speed or process until combined. Gather the dough into a ball and knead a few times on a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a 12-inch log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle 2 baking sheets with the salt. Slice the log 1/4 inch thick and arrange the slices 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake the wafers for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom and around the edges. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool before serving. Yield: About 48 Wafers.

Food & Wine

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Asparagus matzo brei

This recipe from “The New York Times Passover Cookbook” appeared in the San Jose Mercury News.

Asparagus matzo brei
1/2 pound medium asparagus
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
5 matzos
6 large eggs, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Swiss cheese (optional)

Snap the ends off the asparagus where they break naturally. Peel the spears. Cut
the asparagus in 1-inch lengths. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket or in a
pot of simmering water, and steam or cook about 3 minutes until they are just
tender and still bright green. Drain the asparagus, if necessary, and refresh
under cold running water. Dry well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter or oil in a large non-stick skillet over
medium-low heat. Cook the onions until golden, about 6 minutes. Remove the
onions from the pan and mix in a bowl with the asparagus.

Crumble the matzos and soak them in a bowl of hot water about 30 seconds. Drain
well and squeeze out as much water as possible. In a bowl, mix the eggs and
matzos together. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the onions and asparagus.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter or oil in the skillet over medium-high
heat. Add the matzo mixture and cook several minutes until the mixture sets on
the bottom and around the edges. Cover the skillet with a large plate and,
holding both plate and skillet together, flip them over so the matzo brei is
cooked side-up on the plate. Slide it back into the pan and cook the second
side. Cut it in wedges and serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese, if desired.
Serves 4.

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