June is National Dairy Month. Dairy is an important part of your everyday diet. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all foods in the dairy group that provide calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein and other nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Shoot for getting at least three servings of dairy each day.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is a great place to pick up some ingredients to celebrate National Dairy Month. You can find delectable cow’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses from Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm, as well as goat’s milk cheeses from Sweet Spring Farm, or you can pick up some fresh milk from the Battenkill Valley Creamery.
Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm features several different types of cheese made from both cow’s and goat’s milk. This farm uses different techniques of aging to produce harder cheeses and also makes fresh soft cheeses. Here you can find hard aged cheeses like Saratoga Sunflower cheese, which uses cow’s milk, or Longview Parm cheese, which uses goat’s milk. You can also pick up fresh soft cheeses like the Fromage Blanc which is a versatile soft, fresh cow’s milk cream cheese, or the Chevre (fresh goat cheese) which is a creamy cheese with a tart mellow flavor made from goat’s milk.
Sweet Spring Farm also features different types of fresh goat’s milk cheeses, as well as a soft ripened goat’s milk cheese. Here you will find the farm’s original goat cheese, or you can mix up your taste buds with the Herbes de Provence Chevre or Black Pepper Chevre. The farm also has a soft ripened White Lily cheese, which is reminiscent of Brie or Camembert with its white rind.
Did you know that it takes five to ten goats to produce the same amount of milk from one cow? Cheese made from goat’s milk is often softer and creamier in texture.
Goat cheese is slightly lower in calories and cholesterol, and higher in vitamin A, thiamin and riboflavin when compared to cheese made from cow’s milk. Goat cheese also does not contain as much lactose as cow’s milk cheese, so it could be a good alternative for someone with mild lactose intolerance.
Remember, when storing cheese at home make sure to wrap it up tightly in the refrigerator, so it does not dry out.
This week’s recipe is from Jeff Bower of Sweet Spring Farm and can be found in the “Farmer’s Market: Favorite Recipes” cookbook. Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Quesadilla features both goat cheese and cow’s milk cheese, adding a twist to a traditional cheese quesadilla. You won’t be disappointed!
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Quesadilla
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced (4 cups)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
4 ounce fresh Sweet Spring Farm chevre* (goat cheese)
1/4 cup Longview Farm Saratoga Sunflower* or cheddar cheese, shredded
4 – 10 inch flour tortillas
Melt butter in a frying pan over low heat, add olive oil. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt, and cook slowly for about 30 minutes until they turn golden brown. Sprinkle on brown sugar and vinegar, and cook a few minutes more until vinegar evaporates. Allow to cool slightly.
Assemble the quesadillas by placing two tortillas on a work surface. Spread half the chevre on each tortilla, top each with half the onion mixture, and sprinkle half the cheddar cheese over each tortilla. Top each quesadilla with the remaining two tortillas.
If you have a quesadilla grill, use that to cook the quesadillas in. Otherwise, grill the quesadillas in a large pan or griddle over medium heat, flipping once, just until they begin to turn golden. Remove to cutting board and slice into wedges. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per Serving: 310 calories; 17 g fat (8 g sat); 30 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 2 g fiber; 470 mg sodium.
This article was written by Rachel Moskal, a dietetic intern from Sage Colleges working with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The above recipe is from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County’s cookbook, Farmers’ Market: Favorite Recipes, edited by Diane Whitten. Farmers’ Market: Favorite Recipes is available for sale at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market at the green information shed. For more information about food and nutrition, contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension, firstname.lastname@example.org, 885-8995. Watch for her recipe column each Wednesday in The Saratogian.