Brie & Cherry Salad


Hello there–   Every year in 3rd grade I read the story of George Washington cutting down the cherry tree and finally, regretfully confessing to his father.  It’s the kids’s favorite “history lesson.”  (Is it even factual?)  But this a happier encounter with cherries, summer ripe and sweet, piled on a salad–with a tarragon dressing, a little almond crunch and the brie on toast.  Lovely.

salad greens
2 cups cherries, pitted
1/2 small wheel of brie
1/4 cup toasted almonds
small slices of toasted bread
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. sugar or honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

IMG_2408Cut the brie into small wedges and slice and toast some nice crusty bread.  Spread the greens on a platter.  Top this with the cherries, almonds cheese and bread.  In a container with a tight lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, sugar, a couple shakes of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.  Put the dressing on the salad, just before setting it on the table.  Fresh as summer!

P.S. — I got this “olive pitter” when we lived in Spain, but they are available here too.  Works just fine for cherries.


Brie and Cheddar Mac-n-Cheese

IMG_9450Hey all-  Larry’s on his way home for dinner–listening to a books on tape, I’ll bet, for his long commute.  And what’s for dinner?  Well, I pretty much scavenged around the kitchen to see what I could team up with some leftover ham, just waiting to be eaten.  A bit of cheddar, a chunk of brie, and pasta–always in the cupboard (like at your house).  And some asparagus to freshen it up a bit.  I thought of calling it “Clean out the fridge Macn’n’cheese”, but that sounded less than appealing.  It’s in the oven and the pre-dinner sampling was delicious.

8 oz. pasta (I used those tiny salad macaroni tubes)
1 cup ham, but to small bits
1 1/2 cups asparagus cut to short pieces
a few shakes of garlic salt
2 tab. butter
2 tab. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cheddar, grated
1 cup brie, cut to small bits
1 tab. bread crumbs.

IMG_9463Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain well.  Cook the asparagus in the microwave just 2 to 5 minutes (depending on how thick the stalks are)  in a dish of water sprinkled with garlic salt–until it is edible but still crispy.  Then in a nonstick pan, melt the butter, stir in the flour until it is a begins to bubble.  Slowly add the milk, stirring as you go.  When it’s all mixed and begins to thicken (about 5 minutes), stir in the cheddar and brie.  Then mix in the macaroni, ham and asparagus. and turn it all into a 2 quart baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle on the bread crumbs and pop it into a 400 degree over for just 10 to 15 minutes until the top is golden and the sauce begins to bubble around the edges.

There. Dinner and cleaning out the fridge all at once.  Two birds with one stone.  With an apple almond salad and some crunchy bread it was a fine meal when Larry made it home.