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 PAWLET from Consider Bardwell Farm, West Pawlet, VT
Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet Vermont is a producer of award winning handmade cheese. (named by Food & Wine as one of the Top 50 Cheese Producers!) Spanning the rolling hills of Vermont’s Champlain Valley and easternmost Washington County, New York, 300-acre Consider Bardwell Farm was the first cheese-making co-op in Vermont, founded in 1864 by Consider Stebbins Bardwell himself.
In the late 1860s, the farm changed hands. The Nelsonville Cheese Factory purchased the property, where they continued the same service that Bardwell had started until the late 1930s, when the Great Depression brought it all crashing down.
A century later, Angela Miller and Russell Glover, with the help of cheesemaker Peter Dixon, revitalized the tradition of cheesemaking on the farm. After years of both accolades ad changes – today’s line up of cheeses are made using the milk from neighboring Indian River Farm to craft cheeses that are both friendly enough for everyone but nuanced enough for the discerning palate.
Consider Bardwell Farm’s mission is to produce world class cheese in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. In order to meet the sustainability aims they focus on community, conservation, and farmland. From partnering with local farms to conserving acres of grassland and excellent treatment of their cows Consider Bardwell Farm works to fulfill their mission and produce cheeses for us to savor.
Pawlet is an Italian-style mountain toma, and it is aged four to six months. Flavors are mild, buttery and rounded, with hints of flowers, grass and savory herbal notes. A creamy texture and bright bite makes this a great sandwich cheese or an appetizer with broad appeal. It is a versatile cheese, like the town of Pawlet itself, which provides the farm with slate, syrup, and timber.
Cheesy Asparagus Puff Pastry with Caramelized Onion Jam
- 1 sheet thawed Puff Pastry
- 2 tablespoons honey dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons caramelized onion jam
- 16 oz Pawlet, grated
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon flour for dusting
Sprinkle some flour onto a sheet of parchment paper and place your thawed puff pastry on top. Use a roller to flatten it out and elongate it into a rectangle. Now transfer the parchment paper topped puff pastry to a baking sheet.
Smear the puff pastry with the honey dijon, leaving about ½” border around the edge for the crust. Add the caramelized onion jam on top. Add the grated Pawlet on top of the mustard and onion jam. Add the asparagus and sprinkle the whole thing with cheese.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-23 minutes, turning halfway, or until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice into squares and enjoy! This can be served at room temperature or hot out of the oven.
Note: If you’d like to take it to the next level, try adding a little bit of lemon juice, hot honey or truffle oil on top before serving.
- 1½ pounds Pawlet, rind removed and diced into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 crusty French baguettePreheat the broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat.Distribute the cubes of Pawlet evenly in a 12-inch cast-iron pan. Drizzle on the olive oil. Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sprinkle it over the cheese and olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown.
Serve the baked Pawlet right out of the oven in the cast-iron pan with crusty chunks of bread for everyone to dip.
For more recipes using Pawlet link here.
Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision 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 40 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise. For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop.