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Watch for new items, staff picks and SALE items just in time for Easter!
14 Days of Comfort - Recipes from a Cheese Shop
(or... what I made for dinner last night)
I've been doing a lot of cooking with olive oil so in addition to recipes for last night's dinner (and in fact breakfast), I'm going to take the opportunity to share with you some tips on buying olive oil. There are times when it doesn't make sense to use it; such as when cooking with high heat but for sauteing, sauces or dressings, it is ideal. Here's what to look for on the label when choosing your olive oil:
At a minimum
Extra Virgin - not "light" or "pure"
Housed in dark glass or metal to protect from sunlight
Cold Pressed by Mechanical Means vs by heat or chemical means used by inferior or mass producers
For extra quality
Estate bottled. This means that olives are grown, picked and pressed on the same grove by the same family/small producer typically daily vs being trucked in from various places and left to sit around for days.
Specific olive varietals identified on the label. Again, this points to traceability but also flavour. Buttery, grassy, fruity, peppery - every olive will give you a different flavour.
Harvest date - ideally the most recent fall harvest and if no harvest date listed just ensure best before date is within two years.
WHITE BEAN PUREE WITH PROSCIUTTO CRESPELLE
I'm not a huge legume fan but came to appreciate their richness years ago in the store when we developed our creamy white bean dip which is simply white beans pureed with cream cheese, herbs and garlic. So when I came across this recipe in my Bi-Rite (of San Francisco) cookbook, i had to give it a try and naturally it is delicious and the crispy salty prosciutto garnish brings out all the creaminess of the soup. Serve this with warm bread for dipping.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for preparing the prosciutto
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 carrot diced
4 large sage leaves chopped (or 1 tsp. dry sage in a pinch )
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, more if needed at the end.
3 cups cooked cannellini beans (you can probably get at Foodstuffs)
Kosher Salt and black pepper
freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 to 10 slices prosciutto (although you might want extra to snack on)
Sautee onion in olive oil til translucent and add celery and carrot for about 10 minutes more. Add sage, garlic and bay leaf and cook for another few minutes.
Add the stock, beans that you have drained and rinsed, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper taste. Simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Heat oven to 350. Brush both sides of prosciutto with olive oil and arrange in single layer on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until just slightly darker and wrinkly about 10 to 15 minutes. Let them cool undisturbed on the baking sheet until crisp and then break into large shards.
Finish the soup by discarding the bay leaf and working in batches carefully puree in blender. If you prefer a thinnner soup add up to another 2 cups of broth. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and taste. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with the prosciutto crespelle.