Fresh Basket Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes and Capers

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This reminds me of my grandmother. She loves this fresh cheese. I had already lost my hope about finding it here, but the other day I saw it in the cheese aisle of Fairway (for those who are not from NYC, well, Fairway is the best supermarket you can find, fuck WholeFoods).
I was a bit skeptical at first, not sure it would have been that cheese my grandma always buys. But I gave it a try and I have to say, I was impressed. It’s exactly the same kind of cheese. And even the flavor is very close to the Italian one. Well done Fairway.
In Italy this cheese is called “Primo Sale”, literally “First Salt”, because salt was added to the external layer only once. It’s very fresh, summery, light and has an amazing texture. This recipe is very easy, but your guests will be very impressed.
And please, make sure to use salted capers, not the one in vinegar. Actually, erase the vinegar capers from your mind, pretend they don’t exist, they are not capers, they taste like vinegar. So no, only salted ones.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of Fresh Basket Cheese (approx 1.5 cm tick, 1/2”)
  • 8 tomatoes on the vine
  • Basil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 spoonfuls of salted Capers
  • Oregano
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Heat up the over to max, broil on. Take a small baking tray and place parchment paper on the bottom. Add basil leaves to the bottom and place the tomatoes in the pan, make sure to leave some room in between and fill the gaps with the salted capers (you previously washed out the salt under warm water) and the cloves of garlic. Sprinkle the tomatoes with EVOO, salt, pepper and the oregano.
Put the baking pan in the oven and let them go until the top of the tomatoes start to get charred.

Heat up a large non sticky pan on high flame. Temperature it’s very important, you want to char the cheese and avoid for it to completely melt. When the pan is smoking hot, add the cheese, don’t cover and let it go until it forms a nice dark layer on the bottom. Be patient, it will look like it won’t unstick from the bottom, but it will, just give it some more time on high flame. At this point, flip it and cook on the other side until ready.


Place the roasted tomatoes in the plate with the capers, remove the garlic cloves and add the cheese next to it. Sprinkle with fresh EVOO and eat right away.

The cheese shouldn’t get cold.

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