A few weeks ago, I was at a farmers' market in Madison, Wisconsin when I overheard one vendor say to another, “You know what I like to do my curds? I wrap them in arugula.” A little light went off in my mind. Of course, arugula-wrapped curds. Maybe add a cherry tomato?
I bought a bag of herbed curds and dashed back to my brother’s place, where we began to invent new uses for the curd. The arugula-wrapped curds disappeared at our family picnic, but my favorite curd concoction was the pre-picnic cocktail, a Bloody Mary with curd skewers.
And so, the list of curds and their uses began. Here they are, in no particular order…a dozen uses for cheese curds. Of course they’re always good right from the bag, but when you’ve got half the bag left?
1. Make antipasti skewers of mozzarella curds, olives, pepperoncini, cubed peperroni or ham, and cherry toms.
2. Go glam: alternate white curds and slivers of white peach, alongside a dish of Jordan Almonds
3. Melt herbed curds on pizza.
4. Cowboy curds: curds, bbq sauce for dipping, celery sticks (mock chicken wings, anyone?)
5. Wrap curds in arugula (or basil) and secure with toothpick.
6. Chop curds and toss into a salad. Try cheddar curds, bacon, purple onion, cherry tomatoes and spinach.
7. Finely dice curds and fold them into cold gazpacho.
8. Quarter a curd and stuff slivers into large, pitted green olives. A curd martini.
9. Process curds in a food processor with caramelized onions, cream cheese, a little milk, and rosemary. Shmear onto baguette rounds and toast.
10. Toss cubed curds into a cold pasta salad, along with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, black olives, and a hand-ful of spinach.
11. Onion & Curd burgers: Dice curds and yellow onion. Toss into your burger mix, along with a dash of A-1 and lots of black pepper.
12. Next time you make a Bloody Mary, skewer a few curds. (My recipe appears this week on Wisconsin Cheese Talk. It contains Referent, an awesome artisanal horseradish vodka!)