Sum­mer­time herbs make ver­sa­tile herbed yo­gurt cheese

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By SARAMOULTON As­so­ci­ated Press

If there’s ever a time­whenyou can have too much of a good thing, it might be right now, when fresh sum­mer­time herbs are be­yond abun­dant. Hap­pily, this recipe for Fresh Herbed Yo­gurt Cheese is just the tick­etwhenyou’re look­ing to put a dent in the stock­pile of herbs over­flow­ing in your gar­den or tak­ing up too much space in your re­frig­er­a­tor. It’s a fresh cheese based on Greek yo­gurt, and it’s very flex­i­ble re­gard­ing its herbal fla­vor­ings.

I’ve cho­sen some of my fa­vorites, in­clud­ing chives, pars­ley, thyme and tar­ragon. But if you have other herbs at hand — basil, cilantro, mint, oregano — go right ahead and swap them in formy mix.

Which­ever herbs you use, be sure to chop them with a su­per­sharp knife, and do so briefly and ef­fi­ciently. Whack­ing away at herbs end­lessly with a dull knife guar­an­tees that you’ll end up with awet, gray mess.

Mak­ing this cheese is sim­ple, but you need to plan ahead be­cause the yo­gurt takes 48 hours to drain. And although you’re wel­come to dig into it right af­ter you’ve added the herbs, it tastes much bet­ter if you let it chill overnight. Plus, it’s eas­ier then to shape the cheese into a log or a round.

As an ap­pe­tizer, this spread is de­li­cious served on toasted French bread rounds or your fa­vorite crack­ers. It’s also great in place of mus­tard or may­on­naise on a sum­mer sandwich of sliced turkey, smoked sal­mon, or roast beef— or on veg­gie sand­wiches star­ring cu­cum­bers or toma­toes. How­ever you use this cheese, you’ll be glad to have put the sea­son’s herbs to good use.

Fresh herbed yo­gurt cheese

Start to

2 1/2 days min­utes (20 active) 17.6 ounce con­tainer (about 2 cups) Greek yo­gurt, full-fat or low-fat, your choice 3 ta­ble­spoons minced shal­lot 2 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped fresh pars­ley 1 ta­ble­spoon minced fresh chives 2 tea­spoons minced fresh tar­ragon 1 1/2 tea­spoons minced gar­lic 1 tea­spoon minced fresh thyme 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Salt and black pep­per Toasted baguette slices or crack­ers

finish:

Line a large strainer with a triple layer of rinsed and squeezed cheese­cloth and set the strainer over a larger bowl. Pile the yo­gurt into the strainer, spread­ing it out. Cover with plas­tic wrap, top with a plate and a weight such as a can of toma­toes and let the yo­gurt drain in the re­frig­er­a­tor for 48 hours.

Trans­fer the drained yo­gurt to a bowl and stir in the next 7 in­gre­di­ents. Add salt and pep­per to taste. If time per­mits, cover and chill the cheese for up to 8 hours (to de­velop the fla­vor). Shape the cheese into logs or rounds and serve with toasted baguette slices or crack­ers. Makes a lit­tle over 2 cups.

plus 20 Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per 2-ounce serv­ing: Moul­ton is host of pub­lic tele­vi­sion’s “Sara’sWeeknight Meals”. She was ex­ec­u­tive chef at Gourmet mag­a­zine for nearly 25 years and spent a decade host­ing sev­eral Food Net­work shows, in­clud­ing “Cook­ing Live”. Her lat­est cook­book is “Home Cook­ing 101”.

76 calo­ries; 43 calo­ries from fat; 5 g fat (1 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 4 mg choles­terol; 56 mg sodium; 3 g car­bo­hy­drate; 0 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g pro­tein.

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