Skagit Food Co-op blog:

the Cheese Whisperer

The Cheese Whisperer: Curds from the Caves of Roquefort

All cheese is special. Some cheeses are world famous and have laws to protect their quality. Roquefort is one of these magnificent cheeses. European law ensures only cheese aged in the natural caves of Mont Combalou in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, France may be called Roquefort.

French legend holds that Roquefort was discovered when a young man, eating his lunch of bread and fresh sheep milk cheese, saw a beautiful girl and abandoned his meal in a nearby cave as he ran to meet her. When he returned months later, the mold from the cave had transformed his plain ewe’s milk cheese into bluish green-veined Roquefort.

Eating Roquefort is an adventure: its flavor begins slightly tart and mild, then turns sweet with smoky undertones and finishes with a rich, earthy saltiness. Made with fresh, whole raw sheep’s milk from the south of France, Roquefort has a snowy white curd and distinctive veins of sharp green mold known as Penicillium roqueforti.

Visit the Co-op and treat yourself to one of the finest blue cheese experiences in the world: Roquefort with fresh figs and a drizzle of honey. Top your burger or steak with Roquefort, try it on salads or make a souffle. Regardless of how you enjoy this cheese – bon appetit!

               Roquefort Salad with Pear & Candied Pecans                   

  • 1 head leaf lettuce
  • 3 pears, peeled and chopped
  • 5 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add pecans and maple syrup. Stir gently for a few minutes until nuts are caramelized. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool and break into pieces.
  2. For the dressing, blend oil, 1 tsp syrup, vinegar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve. Makes 6 servings.
By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.