Our Cave to Co-op cheese for April 2019 is Mad River Blue from the von Trapp Farmstead, Waitsfield, Vermont.
From 1959, when Werner and Erika von Trapp purchased the von Trapp Farm, it has been a working dairy. Over the course of three generations, the farm has transitioned to a certified organic dairy and in 2009 added cheese making to the value-added operations. Striving for high-quality standards, the von Trapp Farm produces some of the sweetest organic milk for its premium cheese production. The family is committed to making the highest quality cheese with the best milk possible, using traditional methods of small-scale production and continually striving to improve. Their mission is to be one example of how to make a small family farm in the center of Vermont economically viable by producing delicious organic small batch cheeses.
In 2015, Mad River Blue won a Good Food Award. These awards celebrate the accomplishments of authentic food producers who combine great flavor with environmental and social responsibility. The cheese is appropriately named for a variety born in the Mad River Valley. In 2016 Mad River Blue won second place at the American Cheese Society Awards.
Mad River Blue is a natural rind, organic cow milk cheese by Sebastian von Trapp, cheesemaker. It is made with the farm’s certified organic cows milk and is a natural rinded blue aged for approximately 3 months. This blue is very approachable with a mild blue bite but interestingly complex flavor profile and unique creamy texture.
Sweet Savory Salad with Mad River Blue
Makes a whole lot! Adjust for a smaller amount.
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper
1 pound fat fresh asparagus, trimmed and thinly shaved
2 avocados, thinly sliced
kernels cut off 3 ears of fresh corn (or defrosted 10 oz bag of frozen corn)
8 radishes, cut into wedges
1 pound peaches or apricots, cut into wedges
4 ounces blackberries
4 ounces blueberries
2 T fresh lemon juice
4 ounces crumbled Mad River Blue
¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves
1. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with 2 tablespoons of water and the lemon juice, olive oil and dill; season with salt and pepper.
2. Make the salad. In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, avocados, corn, radishes, peaches, blackberries, blueberries and lemon juice and toss to coat.
3. Arrange the salad on a platter and top with the blue cheese and mint. Drizzle with the yogurt dressing and serve.
Smitten Kitchen’s Fried Egg Sandwich
2 ciabatta rolls
1½ cups frisée (French curly endive), torn into bite-size pieces
1 bacon slice, preferably thick-cut
1 tablespoon minced shallot (from 1 small)
1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup crumbled Mad River Blue
1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
2 large eggs
1. Split your rolls and put them in to toast. Place frisée in a medium bowl. Cut bacon crosswise into ¼-inch wide lardons.
2. In a small heavy skillet, cook bacon over moderate heat, until pieces are crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels, reserving bacon fat in pan. Add shallot to bacon fat and cook for one minute, stirring. Add red wine vinegar and let hiss and bubble for 20 to 30 seconds, then remove from heat and whisk in Dijon.
3. Immediately pour hot dressing over frisée and toss with drained lardons, salt and pepper. Remove rolls from toaster and divide bacon- frisée salad between each bottom bun. Top each salad pile with half of the blue cheese. Reheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and swirl it to coat the pan.
3. Crack one egg into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Cook to your liking. Remove the egg from the pan and place it on top of the bacon-frisée salad on the bun. Repeat with remaining egg.