Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil – A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - a Delectable Random Dish from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil – a Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

~ Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil ~

A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese

The French summer continues to be hot and sunny, and although the evenings are quite cool now, there is still a need to eat simply, outdoors of course, in a delightfully cool and  shady spot at the bottom of the garden, under the cherry tree. Cooking and baking has been relegated to once or twice a week, and the barbecue and La Plancha are our preferred modes of cooking, both of them outside and near the terrace, as well as in the shade of the old fruit trees. Trips to the local farmer’s markets are frequent, but are made early in the morning, combined with shopping for essentials at the supermarkets nearby too. It’s a well-planned schedule that allows for maximum time to “lounge and luxuriate” in the garden or on the nearby beaches; there are the occasional spurts of activity, such as preserving and bottling, but the general order of the day is one of near laziness and summer idleness. So, recipes are created and picked with care, in order that optimum time can be spent in idle pursuits, as well as eating and drinking.

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese

Being a huge cheese addict, I am always on the lookout for different cheeses to try; and when in France I try to buy and try at least two to three new cheeses a week……from soft and salty goat’s cheeses to ash layered cow’s cheese. Then there are the wheels of nutty sheep’s milk (Brebis) cheeses from the Pyrénées, always a favourite of mine on the cheeseboard. My latest addiction is for the soft and pungent discs of cheese known as Saint Marcellin from Dauphiné region of France - these cheeses are fabulous for melting and have an almost wrinkled appearance with a yeasty fruity flavour. They are made with goat and cow’s milk, mainly the latter and are often sold in little crocks ready for baking. I bought three discs of this lovely cheese recently, especially for a Nigel Slater recipe I was making, St Marcellin with tomatoes and basil, a perfect dish for a “blazing summer’s day” as Nigel says. My home-grown tomatoes were plump and ripe, there was fresh Greek basil in the garden, and I had just been sent some amazing olive oil, so all that was needed was a trip to the local “fromagerie” to buy some Saint Marcellin.

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil – A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

I had bookmarked this recipe last year, it comes from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater, and it was added to a list of must make recipes some time ago. But, how I came to make this delectable dish this week was due to serendipity; whilst running around my kitchen thinking which book  I would grab if I had to leave the house suddenly, I grabbed The Kitchen Diaries, mainly because it is often left out on the kitchen table for recipe inspiration. The “Grab and Run” idea is Dom’s latest challenge for Random Recipes, and although I LOVE this book, there are several other books I would have grabbed had I had the chance, such as my collection of Be-Ro cookbooks, Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course or the Complete Farmhouse Cookbook. But, it was Nigel’s diary of recipes taken over one year that I grabbed. I randomly open it and the page fell open at 237, which was much fingered with a slip of paper acting as a bookmark. The first recipe on that page was for St Marcellin with tomatoes and basil, serendipity as I said before!

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

The Kitchen Diaries

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil – A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

The dainty dish was prepared and devoured in the middle of a blazing hot day; it was washed down with a glass of chilled Valencay wine whilst the juices were mopped up with ubiquitous chunks of crusty bread, then postprandial naps were taken as is the custom in SW France. The air was hot, the light was intense and the food was perfect for a lazy summer lunch…..and, I was left with two discs of cheese for future “melted cheese” projects. The recipe for this delightful summer dish can be found here: Every dish has its day, and in The Kitchen Dairies of course. I am also entering this cheesy number into Janice and Sue’s monthly Dish of the Month challenge, where any Nigel Slater recipe can be entered. DO try this recipe, it may be simple, but it is as beguiling as a hot summer’s day in SW France……with the clink of ice in frosted glasses, the fragrance of lavender fields drifting soothingly into gardens and the gentle thud of boule on boule……..Bon Appetite! Karen 

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil – A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil – A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil - A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Saint Marcellin Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil – A Delectable Random Recipe from Nigel Slater

Comments

  1. says

    this really is THE other book i’d have gone for had Delia not got in the way… for the writing alone it’s worth having this recipe book… the baked tomatoes look amazing and that cheese… Oh My God that CHEESE!!!… I NEED to taste it.. I MUST taste it, it looks so gloriously melting and fabulous… and AMAZING random recipes this month, thanks so much for the entry xx

  2. Liz Thomas says

    I love St. Marcellin cheese but rather surprised at the reference to goat? I can usually detect goat at a hundred paces and I really dislike it (wish I did as the stuff is so damned fashionable and it’s always making appearances in hotel functions!) Cannot get it here, of course, but when in France I buy from Lidl in Biars/Bretenoux and I don’t detect any goat in it. If I remember rightly there is sketch of a cow on the wrapper. Comes in it’s own little pottery dish, as you mention.

    It’s also lovely if you drizzle it with a bit of lavender honey and dip in one or two very crisp pieces of bacon, along with baguette.

    I’m craving it now!

    Cheers!
    Liz

  3. says

    Ooh err Karen, this sounds like my sort of lunch and that Saint Marcellin sounds divine indeed. Love the thought of your lazy summer days in France and the cherry tree you sit under to eat sounds rather idylic too. Hope all is well and you are having a lovely restful time.

  4. Irene Wright says

    Unfortunately we are not off to France this year on our usual trip for the full month of September. However, I will definitely make this lovely mixture and dream we are in fact, there in the sunny days of Southern France

  5. Irene Wright says

    tomatoes with it is for dinner tonight with mash and minced lamb – all in a pie dish with a healthy bit of grated cheese on top.

  6. Tracy Nixon says

    Mmmm I woke up this morning and thought ‘cheese – I fancy something cheesy to eat today!’ So I thought I’d do a search and found this! Yes – this is what I am going to make for dinner today! Off to raid my cupboards, check my cheese stocks and off to the shops! Thanks for the inspiration and for satisfying my needs!

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