Northwest Summer Cheese Pairings
Join our Ferndale Cheese Specialist, Darcie, as she explores the refreshing flavors of summer with her favorite local artisan cheeses for the season!
There is no June gloom here in the Northwest and I can’t get enough salads and lighter fare for my meals. Sometimes I simply make a meal out of bread, cheese, fruit and my favorite wine. Not too heavy, but simply delicious. Whether it’s for a snack, dinner or dessert, cheese is at the forefront of these pairings for the summer.
Sierra Nevada Organic Cream Cheese
With Wisecrackers Everything & More Flatbread Crackers
After a long day in the garden this pairing gives you a much needed break. Sierra Nevada is an award winning cream cheese that consists simply of milk, cream and sea salt—no gums or fillers. The pure clean flavor has just a hint of the tanginess you’ll find in “other” varieties. Once you try this cream cheese you won’t go back to your regular bagel spread.
The everything cracker from Wisecrackers is the perfect balance of seeds, onion and roasted garlic. You’ll get addicted to this flavorful cracker with a dollop of cream cheese on top.
Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue
With Cloudline Pinot Noir 2013
Want a taste of Oregon? I have paired two classic flavors. Start with Rogue Creamery’s Oregon Blue Cheese. If you crave a smooth, bold blue then this cheese is your answer. Created nearly a half century ago, this cheese ages in their Roquefort modeled caves. A firm buttery paste and a bouquet of flavors to satisfy a range of palettes, eat this paired with a Pinot Noir.
Considered a true Oregon Pinot Noir, Cloudline has produced a beautiful ruby colored Pinot with a core of cherries and other dark ripe fruit. Tannins are soft and the finish is graceful.
Montchevré Plain Chevré
With Local Strawberries
At first thought goat cheese and strawberries might not seem like a dessert or sweet ending to the day but once you make this recipe even your goat-cheese-haters will thank you for introducing them to this cheese. I’m using the Montchevré variety of plain goat cheese. At Haggen, we offer this cheese in a 4oz log and 8oz log. We also have organic varieties as well. Take this pairing up a notch with my recipe for Balsamic Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini.
Balsamic Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini
- 2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp basil, cut into a chiffonade
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ baguette, cut into ½ inch slices
- 4 oz Montchevré Plain Chevré
1. Preheat oven to 375° F
2. Combine strawberries, vinegar, brown sugar, basil, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Let set for 30 minutes to an hour.
3. To create crostini, place sliced baguette on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until slightly crisp about 8 minutes. Let cool.
4. Spread goat cheese on crostini and then spoon balsamic strawberry mix on top. Sprinkle with more basil if desired.