Here at Zabar’s we do not believe you need a special event in order to eat cheese. In fact, with over 600 cheeses to choose from, if we wait for an excuse to eat cheese we would never get to try all of our cheeses. So some days we just select a couple of cheeses that are new or our favorites or just sound good and we grab a baguette and off we go for a wonderful, simple meal. In fact this no new idea for the Europeans who have included cheese into their diet every day for hundreds of years and although a special cheese at a special event can be a wonderful thing, it can be just as much fun to have a great cheese on a Tuesday night in front of the T.V. So just because we feel like it and just because we like cheese every day of the year, we thought we would share a couple of our favorites that are good whenever and wherever you feel the need for cheese.
Bianchina is the Italian version of a fresh goats’ milk cheese. Soft, spreadable and bright white, it is tangy, full of citrus and absolutely refreshing. Perfect for breakfast with toast, lunch on a salad and dinner with olives. Mont des Cats is a classic cheese made by the Monks in France who make cheese as a means of substance and financial support. They eat this cheese every day and once you taste it you will see why. Delightfully creamy yet firm, nutty, sweet and slightly earthy, it is the prefect snack. La Serena is a sheep’s milk cheese that makes sure you know it but in a nice way. Strong, fruity, earthy and intense this Spanish original will have you dreaming of more. Auricchio Provolone with satisfy any craving you may have for something sharp and salty. An Italian classic that gets stronger with age. By the time it hits our counters, it bears no resemblance to the deli provolone we grew up with.
I have to admit it – I love asparagus. Growing up we rarely had asparagus – they were expensive and difficult to cook. My mother finally came up with the idea of cooking them in our white 12 cup corning percolator. She would stand them in the coffee pot – add water, put the cover on and boil them until they were done – actually over done! Then she would drain them by pouring the water out – and the cooked asparagus were served.
This procedure always led to a fight, my father, Nathan, loved hot strong coffee and felt that his favorite coffee pot should be reserved for brewing coffee. My mother, Pearl, felt asparagus were elegant and that there was nothing wrong with multi tasking.
Working at Zabar’s she certainly could have purchased as asparagus steamer. But, our kitchen was small, storage space was an issue, and she really enjoyed the fight over the corning coffee pot. Both my parents are gone – but the corning coffee pot has survived – so, I guess my mom was right. Sorry dad.
There are such beautiful green asparagus in the market – I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. Enjoy!