Oregon’s finest cheeses, and a few from farther afield, will once again be the star attraction of a weekend festival in Central Point.
The 13th annual Oregon Cheese Festival kicks off Friday, with the multicourse Cheese and Winemakers Dinner at Larks Inn at the Commons. A few tickets remained midweek for the perennially popular event.
Two days of cheese and artisan-foods sampling are set for Saturday and Sunday at Rogue Creamery on Central Point’s North Front Street. Festivities also include wine, beer, kids’ activities, classes and even cheese sculpting.
Fine cheeses purchased at the festival need little more than good bread to complement them. The simple perfection of grilled cheese was lauded in a 2015 post in which the Creamery’s cheesemonger explained his process of elimination for crafting the most appealing sandwich.
While I’ve relished the Creamery’s plain-Jane grilled cheese, I do enjoy a few thoughtful accents to cheese. This sandwich pairs one of my favorite cheeses with one of my favorite greens and adds an unconventional “jam,” one of the only ways I’d condescend to consuming onions on a sandwich. Onion jam is available a specialty markets, including the Creamery’s cheese shop and from purveyors at this week’s festival.
Grilled Cheese With Onion Jam
Brush 4 slices of rustic Italian bread with olive oil on 1 of their sides; arrange slices, oiled side down, on a work surface. Spread 2 slices with onion jam; top with slices of taleggio cheese. Mound fresh escarole, cut in ribbons, on top; season with salt and pepper. Close sandwiches with other 2 slices of bread.
Cook sandwiches in a skillet, turning once and pressing with a spatula to compact, until bread is golden-brown and cheese melts, for 6 to 8 minutes total. Makes 2 servings.
Recipe adapted by the Chicago Tribune from “The Epicurious Cookbook.”