I recently acquired a tub of marscapone cheese, a necessary ingredient of this zucchini and parmesan tart I wanted to make. But the recipe left me with a lot of leftover marscapone that I wasn’t sure what to do with.
Then I had a marscapone revelation: A few weeks ago, my dad and I shared a few dishes at Demuth’s Restaurant in Bath, one of which was a “summer salad crostini”, described as “lightly toasted thoughtful bread with mascarpone and regato cheese, ribbons of courgette, fennel and cherry tomato, finished with basil and mint”.
So I decided to make my own “summer salad” open-faced sandwich with no knead bread, marscapone, grana padano, cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, basil, mint and rocket. It was really nice! Good enough to eat for lunch two days in row, and very quick to prepare.
Marscapone is a lot like cream cheese – only more fancy sounding and way tastier. In fact, it’s a triple-cream cheese (leave it to the Italians) made from crème fraîche, denatured with tartaric acid. It is a main ingredient of tiramisu and is sometimes used instead of butter or Parmesan cheese to thicken and enrich risotto.
Marscapone is very mild on its own and, for sandwiches, best mixed with something a bit stronger (like grana padano or other hard italian cheese). What makes the sandwich is the fresh herbs. In fact, you could probably get rid of the cheese altogether and use something like hummus and this would be just as good – but don’t leave out the fresh herbs!
It turns out, marscapone is also very nice with strawberries. This experiment with marscapone, strawberries, basil and mint was delicious:
Everything goes down a treat with a nice salad. I’m digging the lemon and olive oil lately, but this salad was made even nicer with some fresh basil, parsley and oregano (plus lots of crunchy romaine, cucumber, sweet cherry tomatoes, spring onion, salt, pepper, and the clincher: creamy avocado).
Marscapone and roasted red pepper sandwich
- 1 thin slice of nice bread that toasts well
- a couple spoonfuls of marscapone
- a bit of grated grana padano or other hard cheese
- 1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- a few leaves of basil and mint, thinly sliced
- a handful of rocket
- salt and pepper
Toast the bread until it’s nice and crispy then leave it to cool.
Smear the marscapone on the bread and sprinkle with the grana padano.
Top with sliced cherry tomatoes and red peppers. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh herbs.
Pile on the rocket. Eat. Enjoy.