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: Mad River Blue from von Trapp Farmstead, Waitsfield, VT
From 1959, when Werner and Erika von Trapp purchased the von Trapp Farm, it has been a working dairy. Over the course of three generations, the farm has transitioned to a certified organic dairy and in 2009 added cheese making to the value-added operations. Striving for high-quality standards, the von Trapp Farm produces some of the sweetest organic milk for its premium cheese production. The family is committed to making the highest quality cheese with the best milk possible, using traditional methods of small-scale production and continually striving to improve. Their mission is to be one example of how to make a small family farm in the center of Vermont economically viable by producing delicious organic small batch cheeses.
In 2015, Mad River Blue won a Good Food Award. These awards celebrate the accomplishments of authentic food producers who combine great flavor with environmental and social responsibility. The cheese is appropriately named for a variety born in the Mad River Valley. In 2016 Mad River Blue won second place at the American Cheese Society Awards.
Mad River Blue is a natural rinded blue aged for approximately 3 months. It is made with the farm’s certified organic unpasteurized cows milk. This blue is very approachable with a mild blue bite but interestingly complex flavor profile and unique creamy texture.
Warm Chocolate Cakes with Mad River Blue – fantastic!
Pre-heat oven to 400°
- melted butter and cocoa powder for the ramekins
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs and 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup unbleached flour
- 2 ounces Mad River Blue, crumbled
Brush the inside of 4-4 ounce ceramic ramekins with butter and dust with cocoa. Press a few bits of Mad River Blue into the sides of the ramekins. Put the ramekins in the freezer while you make the recipe.
Melt the butter and chocolate, stirring until very smooth. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and yolks for 3-5 minutes, until double in volume and very thick. Gently fold in the flour and the remaining blue cheese, leaving four larger pieces aside. Remove the ramekins from the freezer and evenly fill with batter, Place the remaining cheese evenly on top of each. Place ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute. Serve in the ramekins or gently unmold them upside down on serving plates. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Grilled Summer Squash with pecans and Mad River Blue
Pre-heat oven to 375°
- ½ cup pecan halves
- 1 T unsalted butter, melted
- salt and pepper
- 2 pounds mixed zucchini, summer, and patty pan squash
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 t finely grated lemon peel and 3 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 T honey
- 1 t fresh thyme leaves
- 4 ounces crumbled Mad River Blue
Toss the pecans with the butter and ½ t salt and roast until fragrant and brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool and then coarsely chop them. Quarter the zucchini and summer squash lengthwise and remove any soft seedy centers. Cut the patty pan in half or quarters lengthwise. Toss all the squash with 2 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pre-heat your grill. Grill the squash, turning once until lightly charred and tender, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and zest with the honey, thyme, 2 T olive oil and salt and pepper. Add to the grilled squash and gently toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the Mad River Blue and the pecans. Serve.
Smitten Kitchen’s Fried Egg Sandwich w/Mad River Blue and Bacon
- 2 ciabatta rolls
- 1 1/2 cups frisée (French curly endive), torn into-bite size pieces
- 1 bacon slice, preferably thick-cut
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot (from 1 small)
- 1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled Mad River Blue
- 1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 large eggs
Split your rolls and put them in to toast. Place frisée in a medium bowl. Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide lardons. In a small heavy skillet, cook bacon over moderate heat, until pieces are crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels, reserving bacon fat in pan. Add shallot to bacon fat and cook for one minute, stirring. Add red wine vinegar and let hiss and bubble for 20 to 30 seconds, then remove from heat and whisk in Dijon. Immediately pour hot dressing over frisée and toss with drained lardons, salt and pepper. Remove rolls from toaster and divide bacon- frisée salad between each bottom bun. Top each salad pile with half of the blue cheese. Reheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and swirl it to coat the pan. Crack one egg into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Cook to your liking. Remove the egg from the pan and place it on top of the bacon-frisée salad on the bun. Repeat with remaining egg.
Sweet/Savory Summer Fruit Salad with Mad River Blue
Makes a whole lot! Adjust recipe for smaller amount!
- ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 T chopped fresh dill
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound fat fresh asparagus, trimmed and thinly shaved
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- kernels cut off 3 ears of very fresh corn
- 8 radishes, cut into wedges
- 1 pound peaches or apricots, cut into wedges
- 4 ounces blackberries
- 4 ounces blueberries
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- 4 ounces crumbled Mad River Blue
- ¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with 2 tablespoons of water and the lemon juice, olive oil and dill; season with salt and pepper. Make the salad. In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, avocados, corn, radishes, peaches, blackberries, blueberries and lemon juice and toss to coat. Arrange the salad on a platter and top with the blue cheese and mint. Drizzle with the yogurt dressing and serve.
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.