Taste and Savor's healthy chef Nancy Waldeck helps us celebrate National Cheese Day on 'Atlanta & Company.'
Straight from our favorite healthy chef partytologist:
Just because it's cheese, doesn’t mean it has to be bad for you! We’re pairing cheese with yummy veggies in unique ways that will make everyone happy to celebrate the holiday!
Smashed Potato Salad with Manchego Cheese Vinaigrette
- About 2 – 3 LBs Baby Potatoes
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Grated Manchego Cheese
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 4 Anchovies, drained and minced
- 2 – 3 TB Sherry Vinegar
- 6- 8 Cups Arugula
- ½ Cup Chopped Parsley
Preheat the oven to 425F. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drain and leave them in the pot for about 5 minutes to dry out.
Remove them from the pot and place on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil. Using a potato masher (or the heel of your hand) squash the potatoes. Set aside until they are completely cool. (Can be done the day before and refrigerated.)
Spray a roasting pan with olive oil and then add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and spray or drizzle with the 2 TB olive oilwell with the olive oil. Slide into the preheated oven until they are crispy and browned – 30 to 45 minutes.
Make the dressing while the potatoes are roasting. Add the cheese, ¼ Cup oil, paprika, anchovies and sherry vinegar to a jar and shake well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the roasted potatoes on the arugula and drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with parsley.
Mykonos Island Dip
- 16 Ounces Greek Yogurt
- 8 Oz Soft Light Cream cheese, Softened
- 8 Oz Crumbled Feta cheese
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Grated
- Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
- 1 English Cucumber, Diced
- 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, Chopped
- 5 Green Onions, Chopped
- 1 Cup Kalamata Olives, Chopped
In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, softened cream cheese, feta cheese, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; mix until smooth.
Spread mixture into a shallow serving or baking dish. Cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight.
To serve, scatter cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, and chopped olives on top, and season with pepper as desired.
Perfect pairing? Unoaked Chardonnay – actually for many creamy cheeses, white wine works best. If you are looking for one wine to pair across an entire cheese board, I’d select the bright juicy flavors of an unoaked chardonnay.
SIX Ways to Rock a Cheese Board
1) Use a large FLAT board or plate
2) Start with your cheese, then place bowls and then add other yummies. Don’t forget toothpicks/cheese knives or tongs.
3) The cheese: Think about the textures of cheese – mix it up with soft, semi firm and hard/aged cheeses. Mix up the type of milk – cow, sheep, and goat. Display the cheeses in different shapes; some can be cut into spears, other wedges, cubes, whole etc.
4) What else to ADD:
- Fresh/Dried Fruit
- Jams/Jellies or Spreads
- Herbs or Greens for Garnish
5) Let the cheese sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before your guests arrive. Cheese tastes best at room temp
6) If you’re serving a cheese plate as an appetizer, plan to have 2-3 oz. of cheese per person. For dinner count on 4-6 oz per person.