Recently I was lucky enough to be treated to an afternoon with Le Rustique (they of the French cheese in the boxes with the gingham checks) who were keen to showcase their wares in the sumptuous surroundings of The Soho Hotel's penthouse suite.
After trying the various brie and camembert at different ages and stages I was presented with an excellent feast of cheesy canapes prepared by the Le Rustique chef, including Camembert, Green Apple & Spiced Pecan Salad, Rosemary Baked Camembert with Quince Jam; and my favourite - Camembert & Parma Ham Croissant. Heaven. Also FYI - the French would *never* bake their camembert; who knew?!
After stuffing my face and slurping a sneaky snifter of perfectly matched chardonnay, I was expertly massaged by a lovely lady from Cowshed (my second favourite massage in all of London) and sent on my merry way with a picnic basket of goodies to cook up my own Le Rustique recipe.
This is what I thought up: a Camembert and Leek Gratin with some buttery asparagus and some French dressed lettuce...
For the gratin, roughly chop a couple of leeks and cook down in a pan with a smidge of butter until soft and collapsing. Season well and add about half a wheel of Le Rustique camembert. Allow to melt then pop it all in an oven suitable dish. For the topping I blitzed up about a slice and a half of sourdough bread and a small handful of hazelnuts - just pulse it so the breadcrumbs don't end up too fine, then scatter it all evenly over the top. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 mins.
I served it up with some griddled asparagus with butter and made a zippy little salad dressing of olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon, capers and Worcestershire sauce.
Easy peasy. Add it to your #meatfreemonday repertoire :-)
PS. if you would like to ignore the French and make yourself a delicious baked camembert, the nice people at Le Rustique have provided a recipe for a divine sounding Rosemary Baked Camembert with Quince Jam:
You will need:
1 Le Rustique Camembert
5 Sprigs of rosemary
Cracked black pepper
Remove Le Rustique Camembert from its box and gingham paper. Then pierce the top of the cheese with five small sprigs of rosemary. Place Le Rustique Camembert into a ramekin and bake at 200°C in a conventional oven, for 20-25 minutes. If you’re using a fan oven, bake at 180°C for 16-18 mins.
Remove from the oven and crack a very small amount of black pepper onto the cheese before serving.
Best paired with a light red wine, a crusty baguette and a generous spread of quince jam.