This week’s Spin Cycle is “dream date.” When Jen handed out our assignment on Friday, as she is wont to do, I commented, “My life has been one, long romantic date since I’ve met Beloved.”
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Now, having said that, I am now carrying on a passionate affair. A week ago this past Saturday, we went to
harass talk with the very lovely lady who makes the artisan goat cheeses we buy. I was tickled to see that she had three new cheeses out to sample – two flavored chevres (pumpkin spice and cranberry orange – the cranberry orange is to die for, by the way), and a cheese shaped into a log with a rind that was reminiscent of a brie. I took a bite of this new cheese and just about fell over in a swoon, it was so good.
Oh, if I only knew what I was in for.
It was a Bucheron Cheese, a semi-aged cheese native to the Loire Valley in France, and it makes me very, very glad that I can tolerate goat cheese if I don’t overdo it (consuming large amounts of goat/sheep dairy, or consuming them too often, results in a similar reaction to cow’s milk, albeit not as severe). The goat cheese lady was selling 1/4 logs, but we were so enamored we bought an entire one. She also told us that it could age for up to another 3 weeks, so I put it in the fridge and more or less forgot about it until last night.
According to Wikipedia, the center of a Bucheron will become drier as it ages, while the edge near the rind becomes creamy, but that was not my experience at all. The entire thing was creamy, almost gooey like a good brie, and it tasted even better than it did when we tried it at the farmer’s market. It was excellent in this recipe, lending the sweet, roasted vegetables and apples a much needed tanginess.
For the record, I plan another dream date with my Bucheron tonight for dinner, when he will go back into the cheese drawer of the refrigerator and age for another week before our next liaison.
Note: the squash I used in this dish was a sweet dumpling; an acorn will also work well. And yes, the recipe calls for 16 cloves of garlic – use them. Roasting made them sweet and mellow; the garlic flavor was not overpowering at all.
Roasted Squash with Apples, Fingerling Potatoes and Bucheron Cheese
1 medium sweet dumpling or acorn squash, cut in 8 wedges, seeds removed
1 pound fingerling or other small potatoes, washed thoroughly
2 small onions, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into wedges
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
16 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Bucheron or other aged goat cheese
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the acorn squash, potatoes, onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the thyme and a little salt and pepper. Lay them out evenly on a shallow baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
Toss the apple with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and a more little salt and pepper and distribute evenly over the pan of roasting vegetables. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Drizzle the vegetables with the balsamic vinegar, and crumble the goat cheese over the top. Return to the oven for 2 or 3 minutes, just to lightly melt the cheese. Sprinkle the pistachios over the top and serve immediately.
Nutrition (per serving): 199 calories, 10g total fat, 6.5mg cholesterol, 60.5mg sodium, 543.5mg potassium, 23.7g carbohydrates, 3.4g fiber, 4.1g sugar, 5.7g protein.