And it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s be honest, there’s not a whole lot you need to do make a late-summer tomato delicious. Whether you get ‘em straight from the garden, from your favorite vendor at the market, or even pick out a few under the fluorescent lights of the grocery store, August tomatoes are about as good as it gets.
The best thing about tomato season is how very simple it is to make a killer meal out of very few ingredients. Cheese is a natural complement to the refreshing acidity of summer’s favorite fruit, and at Surdyk’s we’ve got more than a few good choices to add to your repertoire. Here are our favorites of the moment:
Burrata—Step up your Caprese salad game with fresh Mozzarella’s creamier, more luscious cousin, Burrata. A fresh cheese filled with added cream and bits of curd, Burrata is perfect served with sliced heirlooms, garden basil, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, sea salt, and just a crack of black pepper for a memorable riff on summer’s classic salad.
Pecorino—At Surdyk’s we’re huge fans of Pecorino in all its glorious forms. Young, aged, sharp, mild, studded with chile or black pepper, any of these Italian sheep’s milk cheeses make a great partner for a sweet, juicy tomato. I like to shave paper-thin ribbons of Pecorino Toscana Riserva over a simple salad of tomato, arugula, and red onion—the cheese adds the perfect amount of punch.
Queso Fresco—Feta is a no-brainer pairing for tomatoes, but I like to use something just a little more unexpected, and in this case, something local to jazz up my salads. Award-winning Shepherd’s Way Farms produces the most gorgeous farmstead cheeses just about an hour outside the Twin Cities, and its Queso Fresco is a favorite at my table. Nothing like the dry, squeaky cheese you’d typically put on your tacos, Shepherd’s Way Queso Fresco is creamy, rich, tangy, and soft, made of 100 percent local sheep’s milk. Use it in salads, egg dishes, over pasta, or my favorite, in a tomato sandwich on crusty Rustica bread.
Crumbled, shaved, sliced, or shredded, these cheeses are guaranteed to add that little something special to your tomato routine. Here’s to the bounty of summer!
—Emily Dunne, @surdykscheese