SPONSORED STORY – BROUGHT TO YOU BY CASTELLO ALPS SELECTION
A summer salad punctuated by German cheese recalls the food and culture of the Alps.
By Kimberly Killebrew
Though I do try to exercise self-control, I’m a bit of a cheese addict. Growing up in Europe with regular access to the world’s best cheeses rendered me into something of a cheese snob. I can’t help it. The ability to appreciate fine cheeses was cultivated within me from childhood. From my geographical vantage point in southern Germany, I could jump in the car and, within just a few hours in any direction, could be tasting cheese in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary, Switzerland, etc. Then, when I moved to England, I fell in love with English cheddar (what cheddar is supposed to taste like) and a whole variety of cheeses from the British Isles. So when I was offered the opportunity to sample some cheese from Castello, a Danish family-owned dairy, and to post about my “Castello Moment,” I readily accepted. Castello is the producer of the #1 premium blue cheese in the U.S., the winner of dozens of international awards, and I couldn’t wait to try their Alps Collection. Thank you, Castello, for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. I’m going to share my Castello Moment with you along with an authentic German recipe you are going to love!
Something that especially got me excited was seeing the following words on the back of the cheese labels: ”Product of Germany.” I was liking it already. All three of the cheeses I had the pleasure of sampling were from the area I grew up in and comprise Castello’s Alps Selection. In order of mildness and texture, there was Weissbier cheese, Classic cheese, and Hirten cheese. All three delicious and all three from southern Germany. Oh, how I love Germany. I love and miss its landscape, its culture, customs and traditions, its architecture, its food. And so with some exquisite German cheese on hand, I decided to make a recipe that I would have enjoyed eating in Germany on a warm summery day.
A fresh, healthy, flavorful and colorful summer salad that will serve as the perfect accompaniment to your evening meal or garden picnic. Packed full of 6 different vegetables, beans, corn and – the crowning touch – cheese! I used Castello’s Weissbier cheese for this recipe, but could have easily used their Classic and Hirten cheese as well. Choose a cheese based on your strength preference.
- 6 ounces Castello Weissbier cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- ½ cucumber, diced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups finely chopped iceberg lettuce
- ½ can drained kidney beans
- ½ can drained corn
- For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons German or yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
- Combine the vegetables, kidney beans, corn, and cheese in a large mixing bowl.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper and mustard until emulsified. Stir in the fresh herbs.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, cover, and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with some crusty bread.
Raised in Western Europe, widely traveled, and currently residing near Seattle with her husband and children, Kimberly loves preparing and experimenting with a large range of flavors and cuisines. This is reflected in her food blog, The Daring Gourmet, where she invites all to “tour the world through your taste buds.” Passionate cook, recipe developer and photo enthusiast, her culinary repertoire includes everything from gourmet to simple comfort food, and, as she puts it, “simply downright good eats.”