Before I moved to France, I didn’t know that cheese had a season.
Luckily, I have a Country Boy, who has taught me many things:
– Usually in French apartments, all of the plumbing is connected, so if the sink is blocked, you can cover all the other drains with wet sponges and plunge it.
– If you don’t like the answer you’ve gotten from a French fonctionnaire, it’s OK to stomp around and yell a little bit, but it goes over better when you’re “French since Charlemagne.”
– Cheese has seasons.
– Goat cheese is better when you pet the baby goats first.
These pictures are from last year, but last weekend, TCB and I returned to the farm near his parents’ house where they sell fresh goat’s cheese. We always make a stop in the goat nursery first to pet the baby goats.
Baby animals are very exciting for me. TCB says he doesn’t get how I can get so excited about baby animals. I tell him that I don’t see how he can get so excited about taxis.
It’s very Country Mouse and City Mouse.
TCB has always dreamed of having a pet goat.
I secretly think it’s because he wants to have non-stop goat cheese all the time.
At the farm, they sell four different cheeses, each of which has been aged a different amount. We always opt for two of each. The très sec are my favorites, with their hard and crumbly texture.
Sometimes, when we can’t get through them all just snacking on them off the end of a knife, I combine them with other seasonal ingredients: asparagus, peas, and a bit of baby arugula.
It’s a pretty nice way to say hello to spring.
Spring Vegetable Fricassee with Fried Goat Cheese Rounds (serves 2)
1 pound asparagus
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup freshly shucked peas
1 handful baby arugula
salt and pepper
lemon juice (for those not opposed, i.e. The Country Boy)
4 goat cheese rounds
1 egg (if you have it; I didn’t, which is why the breadcrumbs in these photos look a little sad)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim the woody ends of the asparagus and cut them in half. Toss with the olive oil and a bit of salt, and roast for about 20 minutes.
When the asparagus are nearly cooked, bring a pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Shock the peas for about 1-2 minutes, until they turn bright green. Drain and toss with the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over high heat. Dip the goat cheese rounds in a bit of beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Fry for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Toss the arugula with the peas and asparagus and add to the plates. Top with the goat cheese rounds. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.