Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Ile de France Cheese of the Month: St. Albray
Cheese of the month for August at Ile de France is St. Albray - another soft-ripened cheese that has, so far, been my favorite of the edible rind variety. This cheese is equally delicious served cold, at room temperature or even melted.
Each section of cheese is an 8 ounce portion of a larger wheel that looks like a flower when intact. The presentation of a full wheel would be stunning at a large gathering.
I had in mind a stacked salad of the panzanella variety, but once I knew this cheese was on its way, I decided to do a French version of that, and this is the delicious result. The St. Albray was the perfect complement to the intense flavor of the tapenade and red peppers.
French Bread Stacked Salad with St. Albray Cheese
12 1/2-inch thick slices of day-old French bread
8 slices plum tomato
4 ounces bottled roasted red peppers
8 slices St. Albray cheese - rind on
1 cup prepared tapenade (my recipe is HERE)
4 basil leaves for garnish
olive oil for garnish
Lay out 8 bread slices, setting 4 aside
Layer each slice of bread with tapenade, red pepper, cheese and tomato.
Stack 2 slices of prepared bread together and top with a plain slice of bread.
Top each stack with a basil leaf and drizzle with olive oil.