WHEY TO GO

FIONA SMITH’S RECIPES MAKE GLO­RI­OUS CHEESE THE STAR OF THE SHOW.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS - Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith Pho­tog­ra­phy Aaron Mclean Styling Sara Black

A PER­FECT PIECE of cheese is a sim­ple plea­sure and NZ cheese­mak­ers work tremen­dously hard, with pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion, to give us that. As a gen­eral rule I like to savour cheese on its own, maybe with a plain cracker or piece of bread. But of course it is a won­der­ful ad­di­tion to cook­ing too, adding so much flavour and tex­ture. The fol­low­ing are some of my favourite ways to add cheese to your sum­mer en­ter­tain­ing menus.

MOZ­ZARELLA BAR

Re­cently I cel­e­brated a sig­nif­i­cant birth­day to­gether with the com­ple­tion of my house ren­o­va­tions. I wanted to host some­thing at home, but didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. I needed some­thing de­li­cious and im­pres­sive, yet easy. Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Nancy Sil­ver­ton’s Os­te­ria Mozza and my Sel­fridges treat of the 90s, I put on a moz­zarella bar. The won­der­ful Cleve­don Buf­falo Co. provided a va­ri­ety of their amaz­ing buf­falo moz­zarella, in­clud­ing a cou­ple of trec­cia (plaits) which you can or­der from them for spe­cial oc­ca­sions; they look fan­tas­tic. Ac­com­pa­ni­ments were my favourite matches; Poaka Finoc­chiona salami, Or­tiz an­chovies, La Voie Française baguette along with other char­cu­terie, rocket/salad leaves, olives, pick­les, ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, ex­cel­lent vine­gars, flaky salt and freshly ground pep­per. A tomato and basil salad is es­sen­tial; here I have played with this by us­ing pur­ple ver­sions of the in­gre­di­ents. Braised veg­eta­bles also go well and can be served warm or at room tem­per­a­ture.

I like to pro­vide half a large ball of moz­zarella for each per­son.

BRAISED LEEKS & CAR­ROTS WITH PARME­SAN BREADCRUMBS, AND PUR­PLE TOMATO & BASIL SALAD recipe page 80

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