Salad Days of Summer: Ripe Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella

 

There’s nothing like a ripe, still-warm tomato plucked from the garden, sprinkled with a pinch of coarse sea salt. We’re all for this method of consumption, and highly recommend it. But if you want to kick the experience up a notch and create something that you can share with friends on a Sunday afternoon, add layers of fresh mozz and basil for a classic Caprese salad. We’re into a variation on this classic that’s a little more chunky and rustic.

Supreme Summer Tomato Salad with Mozzarella (or Burrata)

2-3 lbs of garden fresh/ heirloom tomatoes
sea salt and ground pepper
pinch of dried oregano
red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 grated clove of garlic
1/3 cup basil, sliced thin
pinch of red pepper flakes

  1. Slice tomatoes into bite-sized chunks and wedges. Place in a colander and sprinkle toms with a few pinches of coarse salt, which will help draw some of the moisture out, and will bring out that bright, acidic tomato flavor.
  2. Toss and sprinkle and let the colander drain into a bowl or the sink for 10-ish minutes.
  3. While they drain, blend dressing ingredients together: oil, vinegar, oregano, red pepper and garlic.
  4. In a separate bowl, coat tomatoes in dressing and add ribbons of basil.
  5. Slice up a 1lb ball of Mozzarella or Mozzarella di Bufala, and cut the round pieces into smaller, bite-sized morsels that can be placed on a plate beside the salad, or scattered on top and mixed in.
  6. Option 2: pour salad around a ball or two of Burrata, that can be opened and dipped into with pieces of fresh, crusty bread.

 

Recommended sides: assorted olives, prosciutto, salami

Dig in!

Fig-et About it! A Sweet and Savory Murray’s Melt

 

Forget about your boring old lunch! We’re taking a tried and true taste-bud-pleasing combo, sweet and savory, and kicking those flavors into the stratosphere by melding together this gooey, delicious grilled cheese sandwich that is abso-figly de-swine, dahling.

Spring Brook Reading is ideal for grilled cheese (it’s recipe is based on classic Alpine melter, Raclette); made from raw cow’s milk up in Reading, VT, we’re all about the salty, nutty flavors that emerge when it warms up. Add to that thin slices of silky Surryano ham and sweet Mitica Fig Jam, and you’ve got a union of complex and complementary flavors: sweet, meaty, salty and creamy. Aw, yeah!

The Fig-et About It

Per Sandwich:

Spring Brook Reading, rind removed, sliced: 1.5 oz
Mitica Fig Jam: 1 TBS
Surryano Ham: 2 slices
Bread: 2 slices from your favorite loaf, we recommend Sourdough
Butter: lightly spread on outer sides of bread

Putting it together:

The sandwich can be made stove-top or in a panini press. Slice bread into thick slices and butter each slice on the side you’ll be toasting, then spread a thin layer of fig jam on one of the opposite sides. Layer the Surryano atop the jam (cut it or fold it to fit inside the bread), then layer your sliced Reading so that will melt evenly. Press two sides together and place in sandwich press; if you’re grilling stove-top, pre-heat your skillet on medium for a minute and place sandwich, butter-side down, flipping after 2 minutes.

In a sandwich press: cook for 4 minutes
On the stove-top: give each side 2 minutes per side, pressing lightly with a spatula or small plate

Cut, serve, enjoy!

Sides: Green apples, pickled carrots, green salad

Hankering for some more fig n’ pig tastiness on your plate? We’re right there with you! Here are few more ideas to get those piggies and figgies together, right where they belong:

* Crumbled fresh goat cheese (Vermont Creamery’s fresh Goat Logs are perfect), fresh figs (quartered), a drizzle of Mitica Acacia Honey
* Toasted baguette slices, Loire Valley Goat Cheese (Valencay, Selles Sur Cher), and slices of La Quercia Prosciutto Americano and dried Pajarero figs – superb for party platters and brunch spreads
* Big blues, like Blu di Buffala, Roquefort and Bleu du Bocage, paired with Speck, chocolate covered figs (ChocoHigos) make an impressive dessert to serve along side Port and Grappa

 

Fondue It Better: How to Throw A Fondue Party

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Like to customize your food? Fondue offers a wide range of options. There are numerous ways to change up the recipe each time. Never have the same fondue twice!

It’s easy. Choose your cheeses, 3# in any combination, follow the recipe, get fondu-in’!

 

*Pro Tip: When choosing your cheese selection for a fondue, it’s best to choose at least one alpine cheese into your mix. Try a classic like Gruyere or Emmentaler, or anything in the “Go Nutty” section.[/two_third]

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Basic Recipe

3 Pounds  Of Cheese (Mix and Match)
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Cup Beer or Wine
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Garlic love
 
Coarsely grate the cheeses and toss with the cornstarch. Heat the wine or beer with lemon juice over medium heat.  When hot, add the cheese mixture a handful at a time until melted.  Add black pepper to taste. If serving in a fondue pot, rub the pot with a clove of garlic.  Set the pot on its stand over a low flame.  Pour in your melted fondue.

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Step 1: Choose Your Cheese!

Choose your cheese to create a customized fondue blend.

Go  Nuts:

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Challerhocker
Brown Butter|Butterscotch

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Appenzeller
Roasted Nuts|Spicy

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Fontina
Truffels|Grassy

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Get Fancy:

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Etivaz
Deep Fruit|Intense nuttiness

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Vendeen Bichonné
Rich|Mushroomy

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Gabietou
Earthy|Funky

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Break Boundaries:

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Klaverkaas Estate Gouda
Caramel|Brothy

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Gorgonzola Cremificato
Yolky|Creamy

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Tickler Cheddar
Sharp|Tangy

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Step 2: Booze Cruise!

Grab something boozy to and an extra kick to you ‘due

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Beer: Any beer works, choose based on what you like to drink. Going for complexity? Try an IPA. Looking for deep and rich? A stout will do wonders. A little bit delicate? A hefeweizen is perfect.

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Wine: Choose whites if you’re looking for mild and sweet notes. Opt for reds for richer, berry notes.

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Liquor: Don’t replace the wine or beer with hard liquor. Instead, take a shot (or two) to change up the flavor profile.

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Step 3: Dip In!

Get Fondu-in’! Don’t be scared, dip right in!

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Bread & Crackers

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Cured Meat & Sausage

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Pickles & Vegetables

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Wanna learn more about cheese? Check out our “Cheese Course” video channel: vimeo.com/channels/cheesecourse.

 

Don’t Mind If We Fondue: Three Easy Recipes That Will Make You Melt

As temperatures drop (and drop and drop), we like to eschew the polar vortex and curl up ‘round a nice fondue pot full of our favorite ooey-gooey melted cheeses, dunking everything in sight (things like hot chorizo, fingerling potatoes, and hunks of baguette) into silken strings of dairy goodness, finishing off each bite with a bright, briny cornichon.  Get the recipes below—from classic to daring– bubblin’ in your melting pot.

Murray’s Classic Fondue

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
150 g (approx. 3/4cup) white wine
4 oz (approx. 1 cup) Gruyère, grated
4 oz (approx. 1 cup) Comté, grated
3 oz Emmental, grated
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions:
1.Sprinkle one teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a small saucepan. 
2.Cut garlic clove in half and rub the inside of the pan, starting at the salt.
3.Heat the wine on medium-high just until boiling. While the wine is heating, combine the cheeses and toss with cornstarch until evenly distributed.
4.Gradually add the cheese a half a cup at a time, whisking constantly until melted and smooth.
5.Add lemon juice and whisk until incorporated.

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Murray’s Funky ‘Due

Ingredients:
8oz Ardrahan, cubed
8oz Murray’s English Cheddar, grated
12oz Your favorite IPA beer (We recommend the Peekskill IPA)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 pinch cayenne
1 dash Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other vinegary hot sauce)
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1 tablespoon cornstarch

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Murray’s Fancy ‘Due

Ingredients:
8 oz. (approx. 2 cups) Comté, grated
8 oz. (approx. 2 cups) Fontina, grated
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
1 clove garlic
1 cup Champagne or other favorite sparkling white wine 
1.Sprinkle one teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a small saucepan.
2.Cut garlic clove in half and rub the inside of the pan, starting at the salt.
3.Heat the wine on medium-high just until boiling. While the wine is heating, combine the cheeses and toss with cornstarch until evenly distributed.
4.Gradually add the cheese a half a cup at a time, whisking constantly until melted and smooth.

 

 

 

 

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Directions:
1.Remove the rind from the Ardrahan and cube. 
2.Grate the Murray’s English Cheddar and toss both with the cornstarch. 
3.In a saucepan, heat the beer, garlic, hot sauce and cayenne pepper to a simmer. 
4.Gradually add the cheese a half a cup at a time, whisking constantly until combined and emulsified. 
5.Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Check out our fave cheeses and accompaniments you just can’t fondue without this season.  Happy melting!

We Love It: Goat Cheese 10 Ways

 

Goat cheese is known for its bright, fresh, and lemony flavors. During the winter I stick to stronger washed rind and Alpine style cheese, but as spring approaches I start to crave the more delicate flavors. While some goats milk cheeses might be more minerally, and others more pungent, they all pair perfectly with spring. Here are 10 of our favorite things that you can do with goat cheese:

  1. Sweeten it up: Spread VBC Chevre on baguette and top with some honey for a sweet treat.
  2. Crumble on top: Sprinkle Westfield Capri over roasted beets & top with a little coarse salt.
  3. In a quiche: Add a lightly aged goat cheese like Crottin to your next quiche for a touch of earthiness.
  4. In an omelet: Try shredded Garrotxa, spinach and some salty Jamon Serrano.
  5. Paired with bubbly: Sparkling wine goes great with a French goat cheese like Selles-Sur-Cher or Valencay.
  6. On a pizza: Top with herbed fresh goat cheese, your choice of veggies and sundried tomatoes
  7. With greens: Add flavor to an earthy Kale salad with salty Capra Sarda and some sweet dried cherries.
  8. In sauces: Make your favorite pasta primavera recipe and add fresh goat cheese like Petit Billy to the sauce for a creamy texture.
  9. Top off your soup: tangy Chevre Noir is perfect for finishing spring soups
  10. Au naturel: There’s a goat cheese for everyone, whether you love fresh flavors, feta, gouda, something peppery, blues, stinky cheese or something unusual. Try them all!