Here’s the perfect do-ahead salad, full of vibrant color and flavor. You can adjust the piquancy of the pickled vegetables to your liking; the longer they’re immersed in the sweet-tart vinegar mixture, the softer and more seasoned they’ll be.
Smoked cheese lovers are often surprised to find out that most of the commercial smoked wedges they buy are never actually exposed to smoldering wood. Instead they’re seasoned by being soaked in a solution containing liquid smoke, a natural flavoring. While the result is certainly tasty, I’m a fan of using the real thing to infuse foods with that campfire character. Especially after I discovered how easy it is to build your own smoker and create home-smoked cheese.
Combining the vegetable-rich flavors of a frittata with omelet technique, this savory classic has a mozzarella-pepper filling wrapped in feta and spinach.
Cut green onions crosswise into diagonal slices. Finely chop oregano. Heat olive oil in 9-inch nonstick skillet, over medium heat. Add green onions and cook until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. Drain any liquid from pan, then stir in oregano.
Tim Gaddis is the cheese & specialty buyer for Star Provisions in Atlanta, Georgia.
Q: What makes a cheese kosher? And are there any artisanal ones
A: There are only a handful of artisan kosher cheeses, mostly because the kosher certification is very costly. I recently learned, for instance, that Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, in Websterville, Vermont, pays $12,000 a year for the privilege of putting the kosher seal on just their cow’s milk products—crème fraîche, butter, fromage blanc, quark, and mascarpone. “At one point we also had our chèvre certified kosher,” explained Adeline Druart, cheesemaker at VB&C, “but it was confusing to our customers because the goat cheese with olives and herbs couldn’t be certified without sending the rabbi to Greece to certify the olives!”
So how does one persuade an energetic baby animal to pause long enough for their photo to be taken? Sharon Montrose, critter photographer extraordinaire, says she doesn’t even try. Instead of cajoling her subjects into being unnaturally still, Montrose explains, “I prefer to let them direct me. They come in, get in front of my camera, and they dictate what’s going to happen.” To handle wild subjects in her Los Angeles studio, Montrose works with various animal trainers. “I have a lot of connections through my commercial work photographing animals for ad agencies and design firms.”
France is famed for its wine, bread, charcuterie, and, as you well know, cheese. But beer? Unless you savor light lagers such as Kronenbourg 1664, France has few indigenous brews worth sampling. But there’s one notable exception, found in northern France’s Nord-Pas de Calais region, which abuts the English Channel, the North Sea, and, most critically, beer-mad Belgium.
In these beautiful baked apricot halves, the combination of aromatic fruit, honey, herb, nuts, and salty cheese is just right. Try to find the sweetest, ripest apricots. Otherwise, increase the honey a bit to balance the mixture.
Heat oven to 400°F. Brush apricot halves with olive oil, and bake for 15 minutes. The fruit will soften and release juices. Heat broiler.
Top each baked apricot half with some feta and a drizzle of honey, then broil for 5 minutes, or until feta softens and begins to brown.
Plate roasted apricots, and top each half with toasted walnuts, a second drizzle of honey, and a needle or two of fresh rosemary. Serve warm as an appetizer.
The secret to this recipe is using the best-quality ricotta you can find, although fresh eggs and good butter also lend their part. The compote is optional but a delicious seasonal treat. Alternately, you can simply serve the cheesecake with fresh berries.
Feta's no-melt texture holds up to all kinds of baking in casseroles, in savory pies, and atop pizzas. For best results use dark-meat chicken in this recipe, which will stay moist during the pie baking.
Trim, halve, and thinly slice fennel. Dice onion, chop red pepper, and mince garlic. Coarsely chop basil. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces.