I go through phases with my cheeses. I was on a feta roll for a while putting it in everything from quiche to salad and even one day into scrambles eggs (where it didn’t really belong). I was having a love affair with Gruyere (often eating it standing up, over the sink, with a dab of honey as icing on top), and have been going pretty steady with my Parmesean relationship for the past 6 mos.
The latest suitor to win my heart has been blue cheese – Gorgonzola is divine, Stilton I’d choose as part of my last meal on earth, but I’ve been buying a lot of Danish Blue which is far cheaper and depending on what you’re doing with it - just fine. In fact if you’re looking for crumble (a trait I often value in a blue, depending on the dish), sometimes its the cheaper cheese that are more crumbly.
A salad I’ve been making a lot the past couple months has been fennel, beets and blue … with a simple vinaigrette. It’s an ideal summer salad and the sharp, salty blue is a really nice offset for the mild, sweet beets.
An interesting bit of trivia re blue cheese – supposedly it came about by accident. The caves where the cheese aged was a perfect climate for mold which found its way innocently into the cheese and voila – it stuck.
- Use a mandoline and put it on the finest setting (raw fennel is far tastier when its super finely sliced – almost see-through).
- The fennel will soften with the vinaigrette so you might want to toss it in the vinaigreette first, let it sit 30 mins then add the other stuff
- Don’t let shaved fennel sit out too long else it will turn brown
A few tips for the beets
- Calculate a time you think they’ll take to cook and then double it. They always take longer than you think – they basially take as long to cook as a potato.
- No need to peel them first, or ever, for that matter. Just eat the skin. You won’t notice.
Got any great ways to use blue cheese? Or fennel?
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