Herbed Goat Cheese with Grilled Eggplant

0

Chevre, cheese made from goat’s milk, is a gastronomic treat available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. You’ll find plain chevre, as well as several varieties of herb and spiced chevre.

This soft spreadable cheese can simply be enjoyed with fine crackers or used as a gourmet ingredient in a variety of dishes. It doesn’t take much chevre to heighten the flavor of a meal.

If you have a lactose intolerance or allergy to cow’s milk, you may be able to eat goat’s milk or cheese without a problem. It is slightly lower in lactose than cow’s milk and, in the process of making cheese, the lactose level is further reduced, so those with a lactose intolerance may be able to digest chevre without a problem.

An allergy to milk is the result of an immune response to the protein in milk. Both cow’s milk and goat’s milk contain the milk protein lactalbumin. However, according to a study at UC Davis, California, because the lactalbumin in goat’s milk is structurally different from that of cow’s milk, individuals with a cow’s milk allergy can often consume goat’s milk without suffering an allergic reaction. Since a milk allergy can cause a serious reaction, caution should be taken when trying to introduce goat’s milk into the diet of someone who is known to have a cow’s milk allergy.

There are two vendors at the market who sell chevre — Sweet Spring Farm and Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm. Look for them both at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, or to learn more about cheese-making, visit their farms in Washington County.

These two farms will be joined by four other farmstead and artisanal cheese makers for the annual Cheese Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8.

This annual drive-yourself tour of local cheese makers in bucolic Washington County is just 30 minutes east of Saratoga Springs. Experience the slower lifestyle of farm life as you take a culinary tour from farm to farm. Bring a discerning palate and an insulated bag to carry your favorite cheese home in. For more information, go to www.thecheesetour.com.

Herbed chevre is paired with grilled eggplant in this recipe:

HERBED GOAT CHEESE & GRILLED EGGPLANT 

4 ounces Herbed Chevre* (goat cheese)

1 small eggplant*

1 red pepper*

1 bunch parsley*

1 French baguette

To grill eggplant: Slice thinly, brush lightly with olive oil, and grill or broil for 4 to 5 minutes.

To roast pepper: Hold pepper over a flame until blackened, place peppers in a paper bag until cool, peel and discard skins. (or purchase roasted red peppers in oil.)

Cut baguette into thin slices, brush lightly with olive oil, place on broiling pan and toast lightly on each side under the broiler. Top each piece of toasted baguette with some roasted red pepper, grilled eggplant, a teaspoon of herbed chevre and a sprig of parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients marked with an asterik (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.

For more information about food and nutrition, contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension, dwhitten@ cornell.edu, (518) |885-8995.