Adapted from The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide (Simon & Schuster, 2000) by Paula Lambert
It amazes me that more omelets and frittatas aren’t made with mozzarella—it’s wonderful with eggs. This recipe uses both fresh and smoked versions to bring some depth and complexity to the tomatoes, and asparagus. If you’d like, add another layer of flavor by grilling the asparagus: lightly brush it with olive oil first, then cut it into 1-inch pieces and stir it into the sautéed onion mixture.
When it comes to en plein air dinnerware, we often sacrifice charm for durability. Fortunately, the Golden Rabbit Enamelware company offers pastel blue and green damask-patterned, enameled dishes that look good and last long. Dishwasher safe and equipped with extra protection in the form of stainless-steel rims, these plates, platters, and bowls are all you need for low-maintenance, outdoor style. Just add the deck chairs!
Mozzarella may be flattened into sheets and filled with all sorts of delicious ingredients, then rolled up and cut into spirals. They’re pretty much the definition of appealing, no-cook summer cooking. Ready-to-use mozzarella sheets made by Bel Gioso are available in many cheese shops and groceries. But if you can’t find them, make an easy salad inspired by this recipe: just toss together young arugula, your favorite olive oil, lightly toasted walnuts and sea salt, and serve it over a few slices of fresh mozzarella.
Cheeseheads, like Boy Scouts, should always be prepared. With this Buck 110 Dual Action pocketknife you’ll be ready to cut, carve, smear, and slice. Made with laminated birchwood handles, a 420HC steel blade, and brass bolsters and liners, the Buck is a valuable companion for outdoor forays—and small enough to carry safely, folded, in a pocket or backpack. Cutting the cheese has never been easier.
This striped Tufoli Messenger bag by Mario Batali does more than keep drinks at intended temperatures (thanks to its insulated lining) and tote nibbles. As part of the Lunchbox Auction, a portion of the proceeds from Mario Batali bag sales are split between the Lunchbox Fund, a nonprofit organization working to provide lunches to schoolchildren in South Africa (many of whom are AIDS orphans), and the Food Bank for New York City, which distributes food to over a thousand food-assistance programs citywide. All that and functionality, too: the bag has a drawstring closure, an inner nylon pocket, easy-wipe interior, and adjustable shoulder strap.
A good picnic needs good food transportation, and this backpack from Picnic Time is made to move. Constructed of woven polyester with a removable waterproof liner and an exterior wine pouch, the brown and blue Avalon picnic backpack is furnished with a complete set of cutlery, plates, tumblers, and linens for two, along with salt and pepper shakers, a corkscrew, a bottle stopper, a cheese knife and a cutting board—all tucked into the bag like puzzle pieces, allowing for easy transport.
This trio of candy-colored Claude Dozorme cheese cutlery looks fun, but they’re serious tools. Based in Thiers, the French cutlery capital situated in the heart of the Auvergne Volcanoes, the family-owned company dates back to 1902 and has a reputation for quality and innovation. This grouping features a universal knife, a cheese knife, and a cheese spreader, each with a colorful handle of pink, orange, or yellow.
Black, white, and environmentally friendly, these recycled paper placemats by Belle Banquet depict an etching of that bovine animal dear to all cheesy hearts. Each set includes ten mats and ten gold paper napkins, all disposable yet attractive, to add an artsy touch to any picnic table.
Imagine a hot July night with a friend or two and nothing to do but savor a favorite cheese and a perfectly paired bottle of wine. A night like this should be spent under the twinkling stars and the soft eco-glow of Soji Pod solar lanterns, charged by the day’s sunshine. Oblong Soji Pods are available in poppy, marigold, and chartreuse, each equipped with a stainless-steel hanging handle, one AAA battery, a solar panel, and dual LED lights.
If you love cheesecake, this is the ice cream for you. The base is a light blend of milk and ricotta—no heavy cream or even half-and-half—which makes it perfect for summer. The strawberry swirl is bright with lemon and not too sweet. Serve it on a cone or under a crumble of butter cookies, and there’s your “crust.”