Cave to Co-op

Special Artisan Cheese for June, 2015


Each month, your Neighboring Food Co-ops feature our region's artisan cheesemakers by offering a specially selected cheese at great price. Look for the "Cave to Co-op" sign in the cheese section at your local food co-op. To find one near you, visit www.nfca.coop/members.

This month's special cheese is ASCUTNEY MOUNTAIN from Cobb Hill Farm, Hartland Four Corners, VT

Cobb Hill is an intentionally planned community in Hartland Four Corners, begun by Donella Meadows, renowned founder of the Sustainability Institute. In 1997 two local dairy farms were purchased and merged into a 260 acre co-operative community and farm. The community members are all dedicated to live in ways that are socially and ecologically responsible. Cobb Hill cheese is made from the raw milk of their grass-fed Jersey cow herd. Cobb Hill cheesemakers follow the age-old process of heating milk, adding lactic bacteria and vegetable rennet, hand stirring the curd, hooping and pressing, then aging to perfection.

Ascutney Mountain is named after a neighboring peak, and it is a sweet and nutty natural rind tomme, modeled after Gruyère.  This Alpine-style cheese is firm and creamy with a clear flavor of milk and the pasture.

Here are a few seasonal early summer recipes that feature Ascutney Mountain with asparagus and herbs.

RECIPES

Asparagus Salad w/Ascutney Mountain and Herbs
Delicious, simple, perfect
Serves 4

  • 1 large bunch asparagus washed and trimmed
  • ½ cup minced or torn mixed fresh herbs such as cilantro, dill, basil, mint
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • generous hunk of Ascutney Mountain

Shave raw asparagus lengthwise with a peeler; toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and leaves of tender herbs (such as mint, basil, cilantro, and dill). Shave the cheese over the top; season with salt and pepper. Divide between 4 plates.


Pizza w/Fresh Peas, Pea Shoots and Ascutney Mountain
Makes 1 large pizza

  • pre-made pizza dough for 1 pie
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups fresh shelled green peas (from 2 ½ pounds peas in pod)
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 6 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 6 ounces sliced prosciutto, torn into strips
  • 3 cups (packed) grated Mount Ascutney cheese
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped pea sprouts

Sprinkle a large baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll out dough into large circle. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let stand while preparing topping. Pre-heat oven to 450°. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add peas; sauté 1 minute. Add 4 teaspoons water to skillet and cook until evaporated. Transfer peas to bowl. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle onions, prosciutto, cheese, and peas on top of the crust. Bake until golden and beginning to crisp, about 15-20 minutes. Scatter pea sprouts on top. Serve.

Aspargus Frittata w/Ascutney Mountain
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sliced shallots
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound thin spear asparagus, tough ends snapped off,
  • spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese (can use cottage cheese if you prefer)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 cup shredded Ascutney Moutain

Heat butter into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Beat the eggs and ricotta cheese together, stir in the chives and tarragon. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 4 to 5 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the eggs and put in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, and the center is set, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove pan from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Be mindful of the hot handle! Cut frittata into wedges.


Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provisions International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers.  The NFCA is a network of more than 30 food co-ops in New England, locally owned by more than 90,000 people like you.  For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop.