You have more than likely come across Buffalo’s working the fields in Bali or another part of South East Asia, but did you know there are Buffalo herds in every state of Australia? And how is this
I know you would like to know how this is relevant to a cheese plate. Right?
Well, Buffalo’s make great milk and great milk makes great cheese. It is velvety creamy milk that is whiter than cow’s milk, sporting 58 percent more calcium, 40 percent more protein and 43% less cholesterol than cow or goat milk.
Buffalo’s. You have probably more than likely come across the hard working giants of the field in Bali or somewhere in South East Asia , but it is unlikely you may yet have come across one in the local deli cheese section. Buffalo’s are an unlikely source of creamy rich milk that is very popular and delicious in fresh cheeses in particular.
Disregard thoughts of those hefty grey swamp Buffalo’s, these are a far more refined breed than that! Most of the Australian Buffalo are “Riverine” and have come from Italy or Bulgaria. Milking Buffalo’s is a little more complex than milking a cow and the milk is still a little rare, however it makes the best fresh cheese. You can find yoghurt, ricotta, mozzarella, Burrata, Scamorza, semi hard fresh mozzarellas and feta style cheeses. Look for local companies like Paesanella, Vannella, Shaw River and Maleny cheese.
Now, back to the unusual cheese plate. I have some buffalo milk ricotta and it is a creamy gorgeously smooth ricotta. Here’s a recipe for roasting it for a short while and passing around with some crackers and pesto . It’s such a great one to share AND it makes a great story, don’t you think?
Buffalo milk has about 58 per cent more calcium than cow’s milk, about 40 per cent more protein and about 43 per cent less cholesterol
1 ricotta is enough for 2-4 people as a snack or canape
- 300 gm Buffalo Ricotta, Container ( or if you cant get buffalo use a fresh cow or sheep ricotta )
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 40 ml Olive Oil ( 2 tablespoons)
- 20 ml balsamic vinegar
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper (1 Tablespoon)
- 50 gm Pesto for serving- home made or bought
- 1 tablespoon roasted Pinenuts
- Home made Lebanese Crisp bread- or store bought lavosh
- Divide the ricotta into two large muffin papers
- Use a large muffin tin if you have one to keep the cheese in shape while it bakes
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of home made or store bought pesto onto the top of the ricotta.
- Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, balsamic and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pop these into some of the empty muffin tin holes so that that bake at the same time as the ricotta
- Bake for 20 minutes. The oil in the pesto will start to separate and make a nice green sauce and the tomatoes should be softened a little while they bake
- Cool and turn out the ricotta onto a plate topping with tomatoes, parmesan and extra pinenuts if you have them
- Serve with Crackers or lavosh