I was invited to the Simonsberg “Luncheon under the Trees” this week and I was absolutely ecstatic. Not only do I live for any type of foodie event, but I am the absolute biggest chees-aholic in the world. Now I know a lot of people like cheese, many even LOVE it. But I have never come across anyone who can eat as much cheese as I can. I am absolute certain that’s why I struggle with my weight, because I refuse to give up cheese. Most poeple who love cheese love a few different kinds but there is not one cheese I have tasted that I don’t like. Everything from Gouda and Cheddar (matured preferably) to Brie, Camembert, Pecorino, Goat’s and Gorgonzola. I love it all. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I want to live in a house made of cheese and eat my way out!
The lunch was held at the gorgeous Farmhouse Guest house in Linden, Johannesburg. A more beautiful setting they couldn’t have dreamed up. Beautiful, lush gardens and the calming sound of water running made this afternoon extra special.
We started the afternoon off with a Simonsberg cheese tasting by cheese-master Alan Fourie. Alan’s knowledge made this a delight, especially for a cheese freak like me. The most interesting thing he told me, was that Feta Cheese has now also been added to the list of things you’re not allowed to use the names of. Like Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Champagne and Port. Although only in Europe, it will eventually trickle down to South Africa. Feta cheese will then be called ‘Brined cheese’ . Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?
We then went on to the cooking demo by master chef Nic van Wyk from Kleine Zalze. . He showed us how to make his famous Blue cheese risotto with honeycomb and my mouth was already watering. We then went onto my favourite part, EATING! The food was paired with wines from the Durbanville valley and Martin Moore took us step by step through all the wines paired with delicious dishes like Gouda, Chorizo & Spinach Quiche, Cheddar & Herb Ciabatta, Caramelized pear tarts with Camembert and Black pepper and lemon cream cheese and prawn wontons with Ponzu. I know…mouthwatering right?
When everyone had eaten as much as they could possibly get in, we were presented with beautiful boxes filled with Simonsberg cheese. One of my favourites is the, soon to be launched, Cream Cheese with Creamy blue. This is the perfect introduction to eating blue cheese so if you are one of those that are too afraid, why not try this one first? It’s absolutely creamy, dreamy and delish.
Needless to say, I wasn’t particularly hungry when I had to cook dinner on Wednesday night but I was so inspired by all the cheesiness that I decided to make a light summer pasta. Just some grated courgette, fresh baby peas, mint and Feta. Oh divine!
500g cooked pasta of your choice
250g courgette, grated
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2 cups peas
2 rounds feta, crumbled
handful of fresh mint, torn
squeeze of lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
- In a saucepan, fry the courgette and garlic until softened slightly.
- Add the peas and cream and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. The cream will go a lovely minty colour.
- Add the feta, mint and lemon and season to taste.
- Toss through the cooked pasta and serve with a scattering of fresh mint and a crumble of feta.
And now for the winner of this week’s book giveaway! First of all, thank you so much to everyone who entered, I was astounded at the amount of entries! The lucky winner is Tamsin Philipps! Congrats! I will be in contact with you soon to get all the details required.
Here are the questions and answers of the 3 questions :
1. Black eyed peas are not peas. What are they? Beans (not a pop band hehehe)
2.In the Sardiniian cheese, Casu Marzu, what is the secret ingredient? Maggots.
3. What nutty legume accounts for one sixth of the world’s vegetable oil production? The Peanut.