Cave to Co-op: Dorset Cheese


raw cow milk, washed rind
Consider Bardwell Farm, Pawlet, Vermont

Spanning the rolling hills of Vermont’s Champlain Valley and easternmost Washington County, NY, 300-acre Consider Bardwell Farm was the first cheese-making co-op in Vermont, founded in 1864 by Consider Stebbins Bardwell himself. A century later, Angela Miller and Russell Glover are revitalizing the tradition with goat milk from our herd of Oberhaslis and cow milk from our two neighbor farm partners—the Brooks and the Browes. Rotational grazing on pesticide-free and fertilizer-free pastures produces the sweetest milk and the tastiest cheese. All cheeses are made by hand in small batches from whole, fresh milk that is antibiotic and hormone free. Only microbial (non-animal) rennet is used in the cheese making. All of the cheeses are aged on the farm in an extensive system of caves.

Dorset is a washed-rind, raw Jersey cow cheese with a rich, buttery texture and seasonally influenced pungency.  Earthy and complex with a beautiful basket weave rind, Dorset is a savory, nutty and earthy delight that is perfect for November; great on a cheese plate and useful in the kitchen.



Maple Bread with Dorset

Serves 8 as dessert or first course

  • ½  cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt
  • 8 thin slices sourdough bread
  • mild vegetable oil, for oiling plate
  • 4 ounces Dorset, thinkly sliced

Cook the maple bread in two batches: Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and, when hot, add ¼ cup of the maple syrup, 1 ½ tablespoons of the butter and a pinch of salt. Add 4 slices of the bread and immediately flip to coat in the buttery maple syrup. Cook, flipping often with a butter knife, until the bread is lacquered with the syrup and takes on a toasted look and the bottom of the pan is coated with just a dry film, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the maple bread to a lightly oiled plate to cool. (Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of bread.)

Smear a slice or two of Dorset into the bread and serve immediately.
Twice Baked Potatoes with Dorset

Makes 4 half potato servings

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

  • 2 russet potatoes with thick skins
  • 5 ounces Dorset, diced
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Prick the potato skins 5 or 6 times with a fork so steam will escape, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a table knife inserted slides out easily. Set aside until cool to touch.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and gently scoop out centers into a medium-sized bowl, leaving a little flesh behind and trying not to break the skin. Add the cheese, sour cream, butter and herbs to the bowl and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon a quarter of the potato mixture into each potato skin. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.


Grilled Cheese with Dorset, Caramelized Onions and Arugula

Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large handful arugula, washed
  • ½  teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, divided
  • 4 slices country walnut bread
  • 5 ounces sliced Dorset, ½  inch thick
  • pinch of salt

Begin cooking onions in canola oil in a medium-sized sauté pan over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until onions are caramelized and sweet tasting, stirring occasionally. Add up to 2 tablespoons of water to onions when necessary to prevent burning and sticking. Let cool.

Toss arugula with olive oil in a separate bowl. Spread ½ tablespoon of butter on one side of each bread slice, using 2 tablespoons total. Begin building one sandwich by spreading ½ tablespoon of butter on the unbuttered side of one of the bread slices. Layer half the arugula on top of the butter, followed by half of the Dorset and half of the caramelized onions. Top with another piece of bread, buttered side up. Repeat steps for the second sandwich. In a medium sauté pan over low-medium heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and add the sandwiches, arugula side down. Resist the urge to flip until the first side is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip, turn heat to low, salt the top slice of bread, and wait until the second side is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.



A rib sticker if there ever was one!

Serves 6

Pre-heat oven to 350°F

  • 2 ½ pounds of waxy potatoes, peeled
  • ½ pound of slab bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces Dorset, sliced

Place the potatoes in the pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with the knife. Remove from the heat, drain, and let sit until they are cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes into small chunks and set aside. In the sauté pan, cook the bacon over high heat until browned. Drain, leaving 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet and add the onion. Cook over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes until golden brown then add the bacon and wine and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Remove the potato mixture from the heat and place half of it in the ovenproof dish. Spread half the cheese slices atop the potato mixture. Cover this with the other half of the potato mixture. Top with the remainder of the cheese. Bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve hot.


Crostata with Dorset and Dried Apricots


  • 1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • ½  teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½  cup cold mascarpone cheese
  • 1 ½  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons ice water


  • 2 cups (12 ounces) dried apricots
  • 1/3  cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾  teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼  cup honey
  • 7 ounces Dorset, rind removed, cut into ½ -inch cubes
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the crust: Add the flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is finely chopped and the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the mascarpone cheese and lemon juice and pulse a few times. Add the ice water and run the machine just until the mixture is moist and crumbly, but does not form a ball. Do not overmix. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Press into a disk, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling: Put an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the apricots, walnuts, lemon zest, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the honey and stir until all the ingredients are coated. Stir in 2/3 of the cheese.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside a 12 by 17-inch baking sheet and put it on a work surface. Put the chilled dough on the parchment paper. Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Lift the parchment paper and transfer it to a baking sheet. Put the apricot filling in the center of the dough, spreading evenly, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round. Pleat the edge of the pastry and pinch to seal any cracks in the dough. Arrange the remaining cheese on top of the filling.

Using a pastry brush, brush the crust with the beaten egg. Bake until the crust starts to turn golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cover the crostata loosely with a piece of foil and cook until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted, another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the crostata from the oven to a cutting board and uncover. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut into slices and arrange on a serving platter. Serve while still warm.

Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers.  The NFCA is a network of more than 20 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.  For more information, please visit