The stars aligned for me with this recipe. I was able to find something close to the fromage blanc called for in the recipe. I didn’t relish the idea of taking the time to drain ricotta. But there’s a fantastic market near my work, called Asiana Market. It’s an interesting mix of Asian (from Japanese to Indian) and Northern European. I always have fun going there, especially with friends because I always find new things to try! Amazing Hungarian sausages, seasonings in odd packages, fresh noodles, vegetables I can’t find anywhere else… the list goes on. It’s not fancy to look at,but it very much reminds me of markets I’ve been to in other parts of the world – so a great escape.
I thought that I’d remembered seeing some fresh cheeses, so when I stopped in, I bought some Farmer’s Cheese that’s actually made in PA. I guess that there are different types, but this one seemed to be a soft consistency, so I thought I’d try it. The remaining ingredients are herbs (fresh from the garden up north), shallots, garlic, a bit of olive oil & vinegar and salt and pepper.
I usually just gather whatever herbs look good – I decided that it was in keeping with the general idea. I had winter savory, sage, rosemary, mint, parsley and chives. No tarragon, but I hoped that the others would be nice combination. And this is my new cool tool for garlic. It does a nice job of mincing and it’s super easy to use and clean.
Everything is simply mixed together and seasoned. Then it needs to chill for a bit. I did find that that made the flavors work together better. Also, the vinegar mellowed and really added to the combination.
Dorie suggests serving the cheese alongside vegetables, which turned out to be very good. Each type of vegetable brought out different flavors in the cheese. The same with crackers. And my friends thought that something simple, that had a bit of salt was perfect – though again, it just ended up tasting a bit different.
I will definitely make this again. Different herbs and seasonings would definitely change it up – I’m sure Dorie’s original tarragon would be great, but fresh basil… that would be good too. Plus, I felt a little virtuous, with the whole combination. Flavorful, but also good-for-you.