I was cruising the market stalls in our suburb yesterday—we’re spoiled here, a lot of ‘burbs have their own weekly farmers market—when I happened upon a cheese vendor selling Magor. It really surprised me. You can find this cheese in our local cheese stores, but bumping into it on the market is as rare as finding an honest and productive Dutch politician. Since the kiddo was off to his grandparents anyway (he’s not one for fancy cheeses), I took home a big piece and reveled in its beauty.
What is Magor? It’s an Italian cheese also known as Gormas: alternating layers of creamy, rich Mascarpone with pungent Gorgonzola. It’s food of the Gods. Finding it was as a sign of divine culinary intervention, it just had to be. I decided to do something different with it, something special.
Now really, I totally get that Gorgonzola is an acquired taste, but once acquired, you will find nothing more fulfilling. If you really don’t like Gorgonzola, no problem, just use all Mascarpone and it will be just as tasty. Did I mention the sauce also contains roasted tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and garlic as well? No? How thoughtless of me.
5 or 6 plum, juicy tomatoes
1/3 red bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
8 or 9 oz Magor (or Mascarpone)
* Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
Wash, dry and cut the tomatoes in half. Place them in an oven dish.
Cut a medium-sized onion in half and cut those halves in half again so you end up with wedges. Good thing I do step by step photography because I sometimes confuse myself.
Randomly put the onion wedges in with the tomatoes.
Add as much garlic as you like; I opted for 4 cloves. Don’t remove the skin, they’ll roast inside their skin, you can squeeze out that deliciously sweet roasted garlic later on.
Cut off 3 or 4 red bell pepper strips and put them in with the tomatoes, skin side up.
Drizzle some oil, about 4 or 5 tsp, all over the vegetables.
Season with a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper, coarse sea salt and a pinch of dried basil. I’ve opted for just a hint of dried basil because it leaves me with a basic sauce that I can still add any kind of fresh herb to—depending on what I use the sauce for—without flavors clashing.
How absolutely beautiful can food be?
Pop the vegetables in your preheated oven and roast at 400F (200C) for 35 to 45 minutes. They shouldn’t be blackened but soft with a hint of color.
Fast forward to 45 minutes later, when the roasting is done.
Transfer the vegetables to your immersion blender bowl, blender or food processor. Squeeze the garlic in there and turn it all into a smooth sauce.
Add the Magor or Mascarpone. If you can’t get Magor you can combine both cheeses yourself. The cheese will thicken the sauce a little, if you want it really thick, you can always add some regular cream cheese as well.
Pulse until it’s a wicked orange and creamy sauce. Because I really want the flavors to blend, I cover the sauce and store it in the fridge for a day.
Really versatile sauce! It can be eaten cold as well as warm and is delectable when added to pasta dishes with a little extra chopped basil thrown in. Or add some fresh rosemary and drizzle it over a grilled tenderloin. You can even add a small handful of fresh sage and serve it with chicken. Heck, I’m sure you could use it as a salad dressing or simple bread dip as well!
Stay tuned to find out what I’m going to do with it!