Caramelized Sheep's Cheese
If you don’t have a large enough griddle to cook all four pieces of cheese at once—or don’t have a griddle, period—you can brown the cheese in batches in a small skillet and keep already-griddled cheese warm in a 200°F oven. Quince saba is an Italian condiment made from reduced grape must and quince—find it online or at some cheese shops; aged balsamic vinegar is a fine substitute.
- ¾ pound MitiCaña de Oveja cheese or any Bûcheron-style sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese
- 1 large Bosc pear halved and pitted
- 2 teaspoons quince saba or aged balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon piment d’Espelette
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Slice cheese into 4 disks, ¾ to 1 inch thick (trim mold off end piece, if necessary.)
- Cut each pear half into 8 slices. Fan out 4 sets of 4 slices.
- Heat a large cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat until it lightly smokes. Put cheese directly on griddle. (Slices will melt and spread, so don’t place them too close together.) Cook without moving until cheese melts and begins to brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add pear-slice fans to griddle and flip each cheese slice onto a pear-slice fan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese melts down through pears and caramelizes. Transfer to plates.
- Drizzle each cheese slice with quince saba and sprinkle with piment d’Espelette and sea salt. Serve immediately.
Photography by Erin Little