Cheers! Toasts And Cheese

When toasting with bubbly it only makes sense to “say cheers!” in the language of the bubbly you are serving:

rose-champagne

French (Champagne):

Santé – pronounce “Sahn-tay”
A la votre – pronouce “Ah la vo-tre”

Toast

Italian (Prosecco):

Salute  – pronounce “Saw-lutay”
Cin cin – pronunce “Chin-Chin”

Cava Bella Conchi

Spanish (Cava):
Salud – pronounce “Sah-lud”

And to go with “toasts”…CHEESE!

burratta-cheese

I enjoyed this article about Burrata cheese in Bon Appétit Magazine so much that I could not wait to taste this creamy delight.  First I sourced it on Amazon.com because I wanted to find a consistent source (knowing I will want to serve it often) and then I found it at our local Tanglewood Kroger grocery (Roanoke, Virginia).

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/mozzarella-burrata-recipes

burratta-cheese-2I  prepared the Caprese Salad pictured above with Burrata cheese, fresh basil from my garden, slices of fresh tomato from the farmer’s market, balsamic vinegar reduction and roasted fresh corn on the cob (kernels removed from cob) and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.  You can make your own balsamic vinegar reduction, but it does tend to “stink up the house” with balsamic vinegar fumes or you can purchase balsamic vinegar reduction in a bottle or purchase very good quality balsamic vinegar that will be almost as thick as the balsamic vinegar reduction.

pimento-cheese

A fun way to serve pimento cheese ~ on a charred board topped with fun berries and pickled vegetables. Add bacon or chopped pecans for an extra flavorful flourish!  Serve with your favorite flatbread.

truffle-cheese

Pecorino With Truffles!

A fresh sheep’s milk cheese with whole pieces of black truffles. Buttery and intense with the aroma of damp pastures, lanolin and earthen fungi.  Smooth, buttery and intensely satisfying, permeated with the essence of truffles.  Serve with your favorite buttery cracker.  Fabulous accompaniment to brut champagne.

peppers-2

I love Ricotta Salata!  The words ‘Ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘Salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is an Italian cheese made from the whey part of sheep milk, which is pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It is milky white in colour with firm texture and salty taste. The cheese is often used in salads and ideal for slicing, crumbling and grating. (Source: cheese.com)

Shishito peppers are East Asian peppers that are finger-long, green (some turn red as they ripen) with a little dimple on the end.  Generally they are mild peppers but about every 10th pepper tastes hot and spicy.  Find them in your local farmers market in late summer.

 Sautéed Shishitos make a tasty, easy appetizer or side dish. Cut the stem end off of each pepper and discard stems.  Heat a little olive oil in a wide sauté pan until hot.  Add the peppers and cook them over medium heat, tossing and turning them frequently until they turn brown and blister a bit (about 10-15 minutes).  When they’re done, toss them with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Place on a serving plate and sprinkle with grated ricotta salata cheese. To eat and enjoy – just pick up the whole pepper and take a bite or two.

I found that these peppers need to be salted to bring out their flavor, without it they taste bland but with the salt their flavor “pops”!

virginiabloggers11

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