Homemade cheese with herbs, lemon & olive oil

Homemade cheese with herbs, lemon & olive oil

By
From
Gather
Makes
500 g
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

I like the alchemy involved in this simple homemade cheese. One moment it’s a pan of white liquid as pourable as water; the next, it’s a singular, solidified mass. You can’t see the precise moment of magic: the milk sets, but you never see it happen, even if you look really closely. You have to lift the delicate curds from the whey and allow them to drain (you’ll need a large square of muslin or cheesecloth for this). Keep the whey, though – it’s good for making bread, soups and smoothies. I’ve even made sorbet with it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.2 litres whole milk
1 teaspoon vegetarian rennet
2 tablespoons plain natural yoghurt
1 bunch mixed herbs, roughly chopped, such as dill, fennel tops, parsley, chives and sage
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon chilli flakes, (optional)
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Place the milk in a large pan over a low heat. Heat to hand-hot, then turn off the heat. Add the rennet and the yoghurt to the milk, whisk to combine, then set aside for 25–30 minutes until the curd has formed.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the curd in a criss-cross pattern and leave for a further 25–30 minutes. Then, very carefully, use a slotted spoon to lift the curds from the whey. Place them straight into a muslin-lined sieve set over a bowl and transfer everything to the fridge for 8–12 hours or overnight, allowing the curds to drain.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, remove the sieve from the bowl and turn the curds out onto a large plate or into a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Scatter the chopped herbs over the cheese, along with the lemon zest, and the chilli flakes, if using. Finish with a generous drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil (the best you can find) and bring the whole thing to the table. Eat with hunks of good bread, or maybe some roasted vegetables or grilled lamb.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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