Here's a neat trick from our favorite French cheesemongers: slice a bloomy rind cheese lengthwise to expose its belly, then sandwich its top and bottom halves around a rich cream mixed with seasonal vegetables or mushrooms. This elegant serving method highlights the best, most urgent flavors of a season while making an eye-catching display for customers or guests. Make it the night before you plan to serve it, so the flavors can meld in the refrigerator, and let it warm up at room temperature an hour before slicing in.
It's currently ramp season in New York City, and these foraged wild leeks are a hot commodity at our nearby markets. Garlic chives or scallions would work as well. Were it winter, we'd opt for truffles or seared mushrooms. The point is to make the most of an ephemeral ingredient by imprinting its flavor and visual appeal into a luscious round of cheese.
Use your favorite bloomy rind cheese for this recipe. We've made ours with Noblette, the smaller sibling of the brie-like Noble Road from Calkins Creamery. If you make this recipe, tag us on Instagram and we'll share your creation with the world!
- 1 12-ounce wheel of Noblette
- 4.5 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 10 ramp leaves (or a roughly equal amount of garlic chives, scallions, or spring onions)
- 1 teaspoon hazelnut or walnut oil
Slice the cheese in half lengthwise to create two discs. Spread the mascarpone evenly on both cut sides. Chop 7 of the ramps and press them into one half, then lay the other half on top to re-form the wheel.
Dip the 3 remaining whole ramp leaves in the oil and place them decoratively on top of the wheel. This is for visual appeal; the oil will keep the leaves from oxidizing. Wrap the cheese in a layer of plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Serve the next day.