Etorki – Cheese of the Month

shaved etorki cheese
grilled sunburst and pattypan squash
wild baby arugula
toasted tamari almonds
 roasted almond oil & late harvest riesling vinaigrette
First brush sunburst and pattypan squash with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper then grill.

Cline Cellars Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar

La Tourangelle Roasted Almond Oil
Vinaigrette: Steep minced shallot in late harvest riesling vinegar, then season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and whisk in La Tourangelle roasted almond oil in a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar. The riesling vinegar and this almond oil are a match made in heaven; delightfully sweet, bright, nutty, toasty. Very elegant.

Plate wild baby arugula with warm grilled squash and toasted tamari almonds. Then spoon vinaigrette over. Top with shaved Etorki cheese.

Etorki is a sheep’s milk cheese produced in the French Basque Country. Etorki has a smooth, velvety texture and rich, hazelnut (almost burnt caramel-like) flavor. Its aroma is sweet and buttery, and the cheese is voluptuous on the tongue. Because of its supple texture, you can bend it a bit without breaking so it is great for shaving with a vegetable peeler.

Etorki, which means “origin” in Basque, is a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese that has been produced in the heart of the Basque region of southwestern France for over 4000 years. 
The cheese is made from local sheep’s milk in Mauléon, in the Atlantic Pyrenees. More specifically, Etorki is made from the milk of black- or red-faced Manech ewes. The ewes’ milk is exceptional, but there is only a scant supply; it takes 22 ewes to provide the same amount of milk obtained by the milking of a single cow. 
The scarcity of ewes’ milk and the limited milking season – December to July – offer a partial explanation for the higher price of cheese made from sheep’s milk in comparison to that made from cow’s milk. And Etorki is composed of over 98% ewes’ milk. For more on delicious Etorki, please visit the Ile de France website here.
My Cousin Vicki’s Wedding 
October 2008

What does Vicki & Jonah’s Wine Country Wedding at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, California last year have to do with the Cheese of the Month post?

Wedding Favors!

They chose to give an assortment of hand-crafted oils and vinegars as gifts. Great idea! Mine was the Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar. There was also Blood Orange Vinegar, Pomegranate Vinegar, and White Truffle Oil among others. Perfect wedding favors for foodies like us! Thanks V & J!

Dear Vicki & Jonah:
 Congratulations and blessings on your first anniversary!
Best wishes for many many more happy years together.
Love, Cousin Lori Lynn

33 thoughts on “Etorki – Cheese of the Month”

  1. WOW Lori…
    That just looks SO delicious…I wished I had thought of that for dinner…hope you don't mind if I use it for a starter for a dinner party planned later this month!
    And Happy Anniversary to your cousin!
    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. That salad look really good. Never heard of this cheese before. Then again…there's hundreds of cheese I've never heard of yet. I wonder if my local Whole Foods would have it.

  3. Hi Char- we are having a dinner party for 18 later in the month too. This salad is on the menu, going to use marcona almonds in that one. You might have to get a different brand of Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar because Cline does not have any. But you can find it, I did a google search.

    Hi Jenn – yes, I saw this cheese at Whole Foods. The almond oil is there too.


  4. This looks great! I used to buy Etorki cheese all the time in France. Will have to source some locally so I can try this salad!!

  5. I am going to find this cheese – the entire dish is so elegant and appetiziing – how can I not. And wonderfully season withal with the squash. Now the tamarind almonds – I suppose I just need to make them!

  6. All right, tamari almonds – I'm a little lost. And what lucky wedding guests. I hope their anniversary is grand.

  7. Beautiful wedding, LL- I love the table settings especially, how romantic 🙂
    Interesting how I thought the cheese would be so exotic, but it has a nutrition information label! I guess I don't know much about these things 🙂

  8. Hi Claudia – tamari almonds are almonds soaked in tamari (soy sauce) and they are very tasty. I am going to try marconas next time we make this. Any almond is good! Please let me know if you make this salad and what you think!

  9. I can't say I've heard of etorki cheese before, but I'll be sure to try it out next time I'm at a cheese store. Thanks!

  10. So do you grill and broil in the oven? I love grilled veggies but have yet to do them well. (The Long Beach Museum of Art makes a nice one.)
    Your cousin and her new husband look soooooo beautiful. 1st anniversary – congrats!

  11. Thanks all for your comments!

    Tash – I throw them on the grill. These are the easiest. Just slice them, brush with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut them like the thickness in my photo. and grill until just slightly browned on both sides. These squash are tasting great, no hint of bitterness. You could broil them too. I like the smokiness from the grill. BTW – I bought them at Ralphs on Crenshaw. This is really one of the best salads we've made, great for fall.

  12. Have I told you how much I appreciate your site and talents? I love coming over here and reading about your culinary endeavors! The cheese is great too…

  13. I've actually not had the Etorki cheese, putting it on my list to try very soon! Also need to look for that riesling vinegar!

  14. Dear Lori,

    Thank you for visiting my blog, your encouragement is always so invigorating, I am glad you liked my ramblings on The Loft. I will be posting another entry on MsMarmiteLover this week. Funnily enough, the night I was there on 26/09, the BBC was filming and it was aired a few times last Saturday. She has become the most popular underground restaurateur in the UK. She has a lovely blog called The English Can Cook, worth checking it out.

    I have become your latest follower, number 453!

    Love your Julia Child's quotes, I am devouring her book at the moment, so inspirational.

    Luiz Hara @ The London Foodie

  15. LL, I'm diggin' your cheese features…albeit a dangerous feature. I could do some damage buying all these new cheeses!

  16. Oh! What a nice salad…although I never had etorki cheese, it sure looks yummie.

    The pictures of weeding party are fun to see, thanks for sharing it 🙂

  17. Great looking blog Lori, and loving your recipes. I write sporadic nonsense so it's nice to read something so thorough that is presented so beautifully.

    Keep it up,


  18. Lori Lynn, I'm glad that I get to be the first to congratulate you on your two Foodbuzz food blog award nominations. You can count on my vote!

  19. Hello and congratulations! I am nominated in the same category, but I wanted to say "Hello" and say good luck. It's an honor to be nominated alongside you! GREG

  20. Fantastic meal Lori Lynn, I could live on this. And the previous salmon salad too.
    congratulations to your cousin, so lovely.

  21. LL, You're genious! I love your flavor combinations, always. I've seen that cheese at Whole Foods, now of course, thanks to you, I want to try it ASAP!

  22. Lori Lynn, this looks amazing. I could easily eat this everyday with the cheese and almonds. I love to entertain and this would be a perfect recipe. Thanks.

  23. Great presentation and instructions. I'll probably have to reduce/redux or substitute. Yet, I can taste this fabolous salad.

    A note about arugula. I grow both wild and domesticated arugula. A mixture makes an ideal salad, as the wild is too pungent, and the dom. too mild.

    p.s. the wild self-seeds, will spread all over your garden and you'll have arugula for life.

    1. Hi Judith – I’m sorry I wouldn’t know. I’m in California. But thanks for visiting Taste With The Eyes. Perhaps try this fabulous salad with another sheep’s milk cheese?

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