House-Made Fromage Blanc on Grilled Bread
This recipe is courtesy of Jonathon Sawyer, the 30-year-old chef/owner of downtown Cleveland’s Greenhouse Tavern.“The freshness of the ingredients in this simple recipe is paramount,” says Sawyer.
THE FROMAGE BLANC: In a large, heavy-bottomed, stainless-steel saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream, salt, and artichoke halves. Stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, bring the milk to a scald (165°F). Add the lemon juice, remove from the heat, and stir until the milk curdles completely. Set aside. After 30 minutes, drain the fromage blanc in a cheesecloth-lined colander for at least 1 hour.
TO SERVE: Using the back of a spoon, gently crush the thyme leaves. Using the flat side of a chef’s knife or the bottom of a heavy skillet, crack the peppercorns. Cut the bread on the bias into slices between ¼- and ½-inch thick. Brush the bread slices with olive oil and grill or toast.
Combine the fromage blanc with the crushed thyme and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Spread the cheese on the grilled bread. Top with cracked pepper and serve immediately.
Note: Raw milk—that is, unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk—can be difficult to obtain. If it’s not available in your area, use the freshest milk you can find but be aware that you may need additional lemon juice to induce curdling.
Written by Laurel Miller
Photography by Michael Cavotta