Saint Albray – Cheese of the Month

Mélange de Haricots
Toasted Walnuts
Walnut Dijon Vinaigrette
 Saint Albray Cheese

SAINT ALBRAY
Made with pasteurized cow’s milk from the Jurançon in the Pyrénées- Atlantiques, ripened for two weeks and formed into a shape similar to that of a flower with each “petal” forming a half pound of cheese. The six “petals” are centered around a disk which, when removed, creates a hollow center resembling the center of the flower. For more information about St. Albray, and some excellent recipes, please visit Ile de France.
Saint Albray has a distinctive taste. During the aging process, St. Albray develops the hearty, robust flavor of a traditional washed-rind cheese. It has a rich aroma and a creamy flavor that can be enhanced by eating it with its ginger/reddish-white rind. I especially like the intriguing aroma, and highly-recommend eating that rind!

Warm Leek and Saint Albray Salad
Walnut Dijon Vinaigrette
Candied Walnuts
Basil Garnish

Leeks are tied together to keep their shape, then cooked in boiling water about 15 minutes until tender. Drain and slice, arrange on plate. Drizzle walnut dijon vinaigrette over warm leeks. Add slices of St. Albray and candied walnuts, basil chiffonade as garnish. This recipe was inspired by a terrific cookbook: Bistro Laurent Tourondel, New American Bistro Cooking. 
Walnut Dijon Vinaigrette: Minced Shallot and Garlic, Dijon Mustard, Sherry Vinegar, Walnut Oil, Salt and Pepper.
Rosé made a nice summer pairing with this leek salad.
Artisan Lettuces

Petite Oak – Tender and mellow
Petite Tango – Curly leaf similar to mild arugula or endive
(Green is slightly sweet, red is slightly bitter)
Petite Gem – firm and crunchy with mild sweet flavor
(more on Artisan Lettuce here)
St. Albray on Warm Baguette 
Artisan Lettuce Salad

Next time you are looking for an esoteric cheese for your cheese platter, as an alternative to the ubiquitous Brie, give St. Albray a try!

25 thoughts on “Saint Albray – Cheese of the Month”

  1. I love this. I have never just eaten leeks like this, only frizzled, and in soup…now I have to try this, and I love that cheese, one of my favorites!

  2. Saint Albray cheese is one of our favorites! We always just eat it on a baguette. Your dishes with it look fabulous! I especially love the salad with Saint Albray and leeks, delicious!

  3. I grew up eating Saint Albray quite often but haven't had it in years. Your dishes look and sound amazing. I really have to go get some Saint Albray…

  4. My mother always had Saint Albray in her plat de fromages and I really liked it. I also like it as a tartine (my French Georgia recipe) : You use a large whole grain sourdough slice of bread from the bakery, slightly toasted then buttered, lightly pre-cooked Canadian bacon, and a nice slice of Saint Albray, with fresh ground pepper. Place in oven or toaster oven until the cheese melts, then serve garnished with little strips of red pepper, thin slices of Vidalia onion and fresh basil. Délicieux!

  5. i see that you have included the cheese rind too-those leek are real plump-we normally stir fry leek with roast pork.

  6. Love the technique of tying the leeks together to present a leek stack. I'm thinking of what other vegetables it could be applied to and will definitely try it.

  7. Lori Lynn,
    Thanks for checking up on me. I am doing fine. This summer has just taken it out of me! I have had both boys home from school and finding time to write has been tough. I know, excuses excuses…I will get back to blogging soon. Thanks for being worried and for sticking with me!

    Amanda

  8. OH I miss the haricot beurre (wax beans) from France. They don't taste the same in the US. I love the presentation of your dish, it looks very rustic, I love it

  9. Next time I go to market for cheese (yes, either Brie or Gruyère), I will pick up a wedge of Saint Albray. I always see it there, but now I am intrigued by talk of its rind and aroma.

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