Vancouver Island’s Premier Cheese Shop and Specialty Foods Store
Black Spaghetti with Rustic Kalamata Olive Pesto
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/3 cup Marcona almonds or pine nuts
1 Roma tomato, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh Lemon juice
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
250g Squid Ink Spaghetti
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Coarsely chop olives, nuts and parsley. Add to a bowl with tomato, pressed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and Parm and mix well.
Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, then drain and toss the pasta in the pesto.
Garnish with a sprig of parsley and freshly grated lemon zest.
This recipe serves 4
- 3c Romaine and Butterhead Lettuce
- 1/2 Mango, peeled and sliced into strips
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 30g Okanagan Chèvre
- 8 Cucina + Amore Grilled Marinated Artichoke Hearts, halved
- 3tbsp Olive Branch Orange Balsamic Dressing
- 2tbsp Toasted Walnut Pieces
- 1 sprig fresh Rosemary, roughly chopped + some to garnish
- Drogheria e Alimentari Sea Salt and 4 Peppers to taste.
With your greens as your base, layer all the other ingredients, add your dressing and finish it off with toasted walnuts, chopped rosemary and a bit of salt and pepper.
Items in bold available at McLean’s Specialty Foods
So here we are in December at the end of a very strange year. Christmas will be a little different this time as we adjust to the new world of limited social contct and celebration.
As we hunker down and spend more time at home, we have to remember that this is actually quite normal in the fall and winter when the weather usually dictates our lifestyle and habits. But we will still manage to get together and socialise.
So, luckily there is still cheese to be enjoyed!
When planning a get together, the questions many customers ask are “what kind should I get, and how much do I need ?” Well, it depends.
We usually put the customer through something like the Spanish Inquisition.
How many people are you serving? Any allergies? Are you wanting to pair the cheeses with wines from a particular country?
The answers are many and varied.
Normally plan to serve a minimum of 100gm of each cheese per person, and more if they are Turophiles (lovers of cheese). Try to avoid picking more than 5 cheeses otherwise you run the risk of confusing your guests, especially after a few glasses of wine!
Ideally you want a soft cheese, a semi soft cheese, a hard cheese, perhaps a goat or sheep cheese, and unless anyone is allergic to penicillin, a blue cheese. There are always one or two guests who love blue cheese, so forget your own personal preferences. Trust me.
Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. It doesn’t matter if that bottle of wine cost $50, if you don’t like it, that’s what matters. It’s just a bottle of wine that cost $50.
Although bread or crackers are important to the overall enjoyment of cheese, I always like to taste the cheese on its own. First rule of thumb is, always serve at room temperature. This means taking the cheese out of the fridge to let it breathe, absolute minimum 1 hour before your guests arrive.
If you are doing a wine and cheese pairing then you might want to pair the wines with cheese from the same country. French wines with French cheeses etc. However, Chilean and Argentinian wines are very popular as are Okanagan and Californian wines so you might want to match these with the wine type eg Cabernet, Merlot.
There can be a bit of snobbery about which wines are best but the fact is, in many cases it has nothing to do with price. Really, the point is to experiment and enjoy so until next time, Say Cheese!
It’s April. Spring has sprung… and so have all those baby lambs.This is when according to my good friend and cheesemaker Ann Dorward…. “These sheep don’t want to give up their milk!”
Sheep milk cheeses are well associated with Mediterranean countries, in particular France, Italy, and Spain, as well as Greece and several middle eastern countries.
Risotto with Prosciutto & Porcini Mushrooms
This risotto calls for a good imported Italian prosciutto; finely chopped, it yields more flavour. This makes a great main course served with green beens and brocolli quickly sauteed in olive oil.
Last month we mentioned 6 countries which had given to the world at least one unique and memorable cheese.
We’ll start with England, and Cheddar, which is named after a place in the south of England called Cheddar Gorge.