BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘cheese

Salty Ricotta Salata

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Clean and crisp "kale" with ricotta salata and lemon-shallot vinaigrette.

Funny I should run across two recipes this week calling for salty, crumbly ricotta salata, that somewhat perplexing pressed, dried cousin of regular ricotta, which is made from cow or sheep’s milk’s whey.I’ve pitched up wedges of ricotta salata over the years but never really felt inspired to do much with it. On its own, it tends towards unpleasant chalkiness, with the faint smell of sweaty gym socks. I’ve crumbled it in salads and that’s about it.

Spicy-sweet paprika potatoes with ricotta salata (and feta).

So a small hunk of it sat in our cheese drawer for the past month and a half. I sprang for it (not an expensive cheese) at the Kiva Grocery Store while in Eugene. But that forgotten wedge came in handy when I chanced upon these two recipes: Kim Severson’s Kale (or rather Gourmet’s) and Ricotta Salata Salad and Honey Paprika Potatoes. I substituted mixed greens for the kale in the former recipe and some feta when the salata ran out for the later, but both were still good. Anywhere else you’ve seen ricotta salata turn up of late? Or other whey cheeses for that matter? I still don’t quite understand how cheese is made from this watery milk byproduct. I’ve also once tried this Norweigian Geitost brown whey cheese, which tastes marshmallow-y and too sweet.

Written by baltimoregon

April 29, 2010 at 12:42 am

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Apple and Comte Salad Days

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Alas, come dinnertime I couldn’t find my precious recipe for “Autumn Salad with Apples, Comte and Hazelnuts” that I had clipped from The Baltimore Sun. These scraps get lost in a move. So I tried to recreate the apple cider vinagrette anyway and did the rest from memory. I used spinach greens, substituted walnuts for hazelnuts and sliced up some celeriac (celery root) along with the celery hearts. The syrupy reduced apple cider in the dressing and tangy raw milk comte cheese really make for a memorable salad I’ll continue to make.

Googling around, I remembered the recipe came from Susan Spicer’s Crescent City Cooking book of New Orleans recipes. I finally found the recipe reprinted on a blog (see below).

Hey all you turophiles out there, any other ways you recommend using comte? This one for comte and pear phillo triangles looks intriguing. The cheese just pairs so well with any kind of fruit.

Autumn Salad with Apples, Comte, and Hazelnuts
Serves 4

8 cups mixed greens, cleaned
1 medium apple, thinly sliced into matchsticks
2-3 ounces Comte cheese, cut in matchsticks
1/4 cup sliced celery hearts
1 cup Cider Dressing, recipe follows
Salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries, optional

In a large bowl, use your hands or two wooden spoons to toss together the lettuce, apple, cheese, and celery hearts. Drizzle in enough dressing to lightly coat the salad; reserve remaining dressing. Season the salad with a little salt, if necessary, and divide among four plates. Sprinkle salad with hazelnuts and drizzle with equal portions of the remaining Cider Dressing.

Cider Dressing

1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup pure olive oil or a mild vegetable oil
1 teaspoon hazelnut oil, optional
salt and pepper

Place the cider and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced to 3 tablespoons of liquid. Pour it into a small bowl and add the shallots and mustard. Whisk to combine, then slowly whisk in the olive oil and the hazelnut oil, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Written by baltimoregon

December 27, 2008 at 1:07 am

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