I’m not sure what it is about Minnesotans and blue cheese. Are we a sad lot and we channel it through our cheese? Whatever it is, there seems to be disproportionate amount of blue cheeses made here on the tundra. That said, I’m excited to announce that we are the first shop in the state to offer a brand new blue cheese from Faribault Dairy.
Bene Blue is a natural rind cheese made from a 80:20 mix of Cow and Sheep’s milk. It’s quite different than any of the other cheeses offered by the Faribault Dairy. This cheese has a deep, earthy flavor rather than the bright, saltiness that is often associated with blue cheese.
We’ve paired the Bene Blue with some local buckwheat honey from Ames Farm and it is a fantastic combination. I’m looking forward to grilling season (which I suppose has come a little bit early this year) so I can throw some Bene Blue on top of my burgers.
Oh, and this gem is only $10 per half pound
For my first blog post back in the blogging business (some of you may remember my first attempt at blogging (www.france44.blogspot.com) I thought I’d put myself up to the challenge of creating a delicious and healthy meal using ingredients procured almost entirely from the cheese shop. We don’t sell fresh vegetables out of season so I had to obtain those from the grocery store. Otherwise the meal is entirely made up of items we sell.
Sunday night is Italian night in our household. It’s an old family tradition. Pasta can be a little tiresome and not always the healthiest option. So I really wanted to do something different and packed with protein and fiber without too much fat. Borlotti Beans are in the cranberry bean family and farro is an ancient grain packed with fiber and nutrients. Here you go:
Italian “Rice and Beans”
1cup Rancho Gordo borlotti beans, soaked minimum 12 hours
1 cup farro
1/2 cup Sciabica extra virgin olive oil
1 can Rega San Marzano tomatoes
Fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, whatever you like)
1 head Broccolini, trimmed and chopped
Drain the soaked borlotti beans. Simmer until tender, about 2 hours. Add fresh herbs to the cooking liquid if you like, If you have a pressure cooker then even better. Drain beans, reserve 3/4 cup of cooking liquid.
Heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Smash 1 clove of garlic with the back of a chef’s knife and add to your olive oil. Sautee for 2 minutes. Add farro and San Marzano tomatoes along with 3/4 cup of water. Bring pot to a boil and then lower to medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until farro is tender.
Heat a sautee pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add broccolini to hot oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Sautee for about 7 minutes or until tender.
Add bean liquid, borlotti beans and broccolini to the farro. Season with black pepper and finish with a generous amount of parmigiano-reggiano.