Today, I’m sharing a recipe for a Roasted Beet, Grilled Corn, Tomato Salad with Montamore Cheese and Walnuts that I view as a transition salad – that is, a salad that speaks to the cooler weather that we are hopefully putting behind us for the season, and the warmer Spring air that I hope is going to come and stay. I can’t wait until the weather really warms up and the farmer’s market opens with all the local fresh produce.
This salad is a mix of cooler weather and warmer weather ingredients, with roasted beets and “grilled” corn (I actually pan-roasted frozen corn since corn isn’t in season yet). I spotted a similar salad on a menu from a local restaurant a while ago and thought it was an interesting combination of textures and flavors. Their salad description included Honey Goat Cheese.
I’m not sure what Honey Goat Cheese is, but I liked the idea of sweet, savory and tangy flavors with lots of textures going on in this salad. So, I tried coming up with my own salad based on what I imagined this salad might taste like. Instead of Honey Goat Cheese (I’m not even sure this exists – perhaps the restaurant mixes honey into the goat cheese?), I used crumbled Sartori’s Montamore Cheese and made a Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette using Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar (I bought this from Home Goods believe it or not). Montamore cheese is fruity and tangy at the same time, creamy in texture, but semi-firm so it can be crumbled.
Recently, I served this Roasted Beet Grilled Corn Tomato Salad with Montamore Cheese and Walnuts at a soup class I taught at our local senior center. I wanted to make something special to go along with the Chicken Chorizo Kale Farro Soup and the cheese platter (compliments of Sartori – thank you!).
Not only is this salad naturally beautiful, but it is really good – just ask anyone from my soup class.
I’d like to give a shout out to Sartori Cheese, based in Wisconsin. Not only do they make some fine cheeses, but they are good people. They generously provided a beautiful assortment of artisan cheeses for my soup class at our local senior center, which was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.
I have been cooking with Sartori Cheeses for the past several months, and have enjoyed trying the diverse offerings that this fourth-generation family-owned and operated business offers. Sartori has strong relationships with family farmers (many of whom have supplied milk for several generations) and cheesemakers, so that tells me they care a lot about what goes into their products.
It’s so interesting, I finally had a chance to read about the Sartori family history and how they came to the United States and started their business. Paolo Sartori, the founder, came to America to achieve his American dream. He started a cheese company in 1939 with an aspiration to make the best cheese in the world. I’m not a history buff by any means, but I was so impressed to learn that Paolo received U.S. patents for “Cheese Curd Machine” and “Curd Mixing and Kneading Machine” within 7 years of starting his company.
Over the past few years, Sartori’s cheese has been honored with over 100 awards (including “The Best New Cheese in the World” at the World Cheese Awards in Dublin, Ireland, and Best Parmesan in the USA), medals and ribbons at the most competitive and prestigious cheese contests and competitions around the globe. Sartori credits their local family milk farmer partners and their experienced Master Cheesemakers who create the cheese.
Another thing I like about Sartori’s cheeses is that their Sartori Reserve, Sartori Classic, and Sartori Limited Edition cheese varieties are all certified rBST-free, meaning they are all free of added hormones (all Sartori cheese is gluten-free except for Raspberry BellaVitano®, which contains wheat ale.)
Disclosure: Sartori generously provided cheeses for my senior center soup class for which I am extremely grateful.