Date and Walnut Paleo Crispbread is a fantastic base for crafting flavor profiles with Marin French Cheese and unique homemade toppings.
There are certain times in our lives when we don’t realize it in the moment, but later we understand how significant it was. We always know when we’re having a first time experience, but if we knew the last time was actually the last time for a lot of things, I wonder how much different would it be.
The first time I had a truly mind-blowing experience with cheese was in Paris. I was meandering around a local market taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. Fresh bread, pastries, charcuterie, cheese, an array of brightly colored flowers, kids laughing, French folk music playing from somewhere. It was lovely.
I feasted on a crusty baguette, a small round of cheese from mountainous region of France, and a container of local strawberries that were both much smaller and sweeter than what I was used to or anticipating. That meal was bliss. That was over two years ago and that experience has stuck out in my mind as a turning point for me for cheese ever since. I was in Paris for nearly three weeks at that time and although I kept telling myself I would recreate that perfect meal, it just didn’t end up happening. Which has led me to search stateside for the best of the best cheese. I recently discovered Marin French Cheese and it immediately captivated me.
Marin French Cheese, the oldest continually operating cheese company in the US, hails from Marin County in California, a scenic area encompassing lush meadows and woods, stretching from Hicks Mountain to the Pacific Ocean. This rich agricultural land is an ideal pasture for grazing cows. They take a handcrafted artisanal French approach to small-batch cheesemaking using fresh local milk and traditional cultures.
They have a beautiful collection of Petite cheeses, which are 4-ounce triple crème rounds made with fresh milk and cream…
Petite Cendrée: Mellow and smooth; pairs well with Muscatel, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet
Petite Jalapeño: Warm and creamy; pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc or wheat beer
Petite Breakfast: Mild and buttery; pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc, wheat beer, or hard cider
Petite Crème: Rich and smooth; pairs well with sparkling wine, Petite Syrah, or IPA
Petite Camembert: Complex and aromatic; pairs well with Unoaked Chardonnay, California Rhone blend, stout, or porter
Petite Truffle: Earthy and creamy; pairs well with sparkling wine or Champagne
Petite Supreme: Lush and buttery; pairs well with sparkling wine, Petite Syrah, or IPA
Here I focus on showcasing three of those cheeses, the Petite Jalapeño, Petite Breakfast, and Petite Supreme. To go along with the cheese, I made a paleo crispbread with a nutty flavor and a hint of natural sweetness from a touch of coconut sugar and dates. It’s the perfect base for topping with these cheeses. If you’ve never made crispbread, it couldn’t be easier; it’s basically just a loaf of quick bread that’s very thinly sliced and dried out in the oven.
Macerated Strawberries and Fresh Mint make a deliciously fresh sweet/tart topping that beautifully contrasts the buttery richness of Marin French Cheese Petite Breakfast. A quick stovetop Blueberry Thyme Sauce that is subtly sweet, earthy, and bright enhances the Marin French Cheese Petite Supreme. Quick Pickled Jalapeños with Red Onion add just the right balance of flavors with their sweet/salty/sour combination to create an unexpected juxtaposition to the creamy texture and pop of heat from the Marin French Cheese Petite Jalapeño. These are wonderful to serve as a trio (a platter of these bites makes a gorgeous addition to a summer gathering), but any of them would also be great on its own.
What’s your most memorable food experience?
- ½ cup (56 g) almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) arrowroot starch
- 1 tablespoon (10 g) golden flaxseed meal
- ½ tablespoon tapioca starch
- ⅛ + 1/16 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ + 1/16 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee) or coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons plain unsweetened almond “milk”
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 Medjool date, pitted and finely chopped
- ½ cup thinly sliced fresh strawberries
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
- 6 oz fresh blueberries
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon fresh minced thyme
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 4 tablespoons hot water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup sliced red onion
- For the loaf, preheat oven to 350F; generously grease a mini (5.75 by 3-inch) loaf pan with ghee or coconut oil. Whisk together the almond meal, coconut sugar, arrowroot starch, flaxseed meal, tapioca starch, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together the slightly cooled ghee or coconut oil, eggs, almond “milk”, vinegar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once and stir until combined, being careful not to over-mix. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
- To make the crispbread, once the loaf is fully chilled, preheat oven to 350F. Thinly slice the loaf into slices 5mm thick. Line up the slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until toasted on both sides, about 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Cool completely before serving.
- For the Macerated Strawberries and Fresh Mint, stir together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve on top of a crispbread along with a slice of Marin French Cheese Petite Breakfast.
- For the Blueberry Thyme Sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature (the sauce will thicken as it cools). Serve on top of a crispbread along with a slice of Marin French Cheese Petite Supreme.
- For the Quick Pickled Jalapeños with Red Onion, stir together the hot water, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Stir in the peppercorns, vinegar, jalapeños, and red onion and let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve on top of a crispbread along with a slice of Marin French Cheese Petite Jalapeño.
Disclosure: I received the Marin French Cheese that I used in this recipe for free, and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.