In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Sweet Grass Dairy

Jessica & Jeremy Little, owners and operators of Sweet Grass Dairy based in Thomasville, Georgia, began making cheese in 2000. They specialize in world-class, grass-based, and incredibly flavorful cheese using old-world processes and new world techniques. The cheesemaking couple has really made a name for themselves in the cheese industry, having won more than 30 awards, both domestically and internationally. Enjoy some of these serving suggestions!

Crostini Topped with Heirloom Tomatoes & Sweet Grass Dairy Pimento Cheese
Crostini Topped with Heirloom Tomatoes & Sweet Grass Dairy Pimento Cheese

Crostini Topped with Heirloom Tomatoes & Sweet Grass Dairy Pimento Cheese

Savory, summery and finishing with a slight, sweet-pepper kick, these simple crostini are perfect for a backyard get together, especially paired with a chilled white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc. Sweet Grass Dairy pimento cheese spread is made with shredded the diary’s Thomasville Tomme. It’s fantastic! Serves 4 to 8.

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of a baguette, cut on the diagonal, such as a demi baguette
  • 1 tub (6 oz) pimento cheese spread from Sweet Grass Dairy (available at Sigona’s)
  • 1 to 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced (large slices halved)
  • Micro greens of choice, for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions: Preheat a large skillet or griddle over high heat. Lightly brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil. To create a crostini with a crisp, toasted outside and a soft, chewy inside, add the slices to the hot griddle and cook for just 1 minute a side, flipping once, or until lightly toasty. Transfer to a serving tray.

We suggest providing the ingredients and allowing guests to create their own crostini just before eating, to keep the toasts from becoming soggy.

To serve: Spread some of the pimento cheese onto a toasted crostini. Top with a slice or two of tomato and garnish with greens. Finish what a sprinkling of salt and serve immediately.


Apple & Walnut Harvest Salad with Sweet Grass Dairy Griffin and a Gravenstein Vinaigrette
Apple & Walnut Harvest Salad with Sweet Grass Dairy Griffin and a Gravenstein Vinaigrette

Apple & Walnut Harvest Salad with Sweet Grass Dairy Griffin and a Gravenstein Vinaigrette

Sweet Grass Dairy describes its porter-soaked Griffin cheese as having aromas of malt, earth, maple syrup and coffee beans – all of which can be considered flavors of fall – making this cheese an appetizingly appropriate addition to our apple & walnut harvest salad. The hints of porter in the Griffin perfectly compliment the Gravenstein apple balsamic vinaigrette. Makes about 2/3 cup vinaigrette; serves 4 to 6.

Gravenstein Apple Vinaigrette:

For the salad:

  • Red butter lettuce, about two handfuls per serving
  • Thinly sliced apple, about 5 to 6 slices per serving
  • Raw, shelled walnuts, about 3 Tbsp per serving
  • Thinly sliced red onion,* a few rings per serving
  • Dried cranberries, about 2 Tbsp per serving
  • Shaved Sweet Grass Dairy Griffin cheese, as much as you’d like!

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. Taste; adjust as desired (aim for a sweet-tart flavor that finishes with distinct, lingering notes of the Gravenstein apple balsamic).

Arrange the lettuce and remaining salad toppings on individual dishes. Allow guests to drizzle on the vinaigrette just before eating.

*Chef’s note: to take some of the heat out of red onions, soak slices in ice water for at least 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.


Pomegranate Balsamic Stewed Figs Served with Sweet Grass Dairy's Green Hill Double Cream Cheese
Pomegranate Balsamic Stewed Figs
Served with Sweet Grass Dairy’s Green Hill
Double Cream Cheese

Pomegranate Balsamic Stewed Figs Served with Sweet Grass Dairy’s Green Hill Double Cream Cheese

Why not stew figs with fig balsamic? Well, you could, but the pomegranate adds just the right of tart, to help temper the sometimes surprisingly strong sweetness of the figs, and it also brings another layer of flavor to this simple but delectable spread. Serve this on a charcuterie board along with Sweet Grass Dairy’s Green Hill cheese, dollop it on ice cream or pair it with a grilled pork chop. Inspired by The Oil & Vinegar Lover’s Handbook. Makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh figs (preferably Black mission figs)
  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s Pomegranate Balsamic
  • 2 Tbsp honey, such as raw, local Honey Hole Honey Co. honey found only at Sigona’s
  • 2 Tbsp water

For serving:

  • One round of Sweet Grass Dairy’s Green Hill double cream cow’s milk cheese
  • Crackers
  • Arugula
  • Fresh pomegranate arils

Directions: Rinse and pat dry the figs. Remove the stems and quarter the fruit. Add figs to a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the balsamic, honey and water. Use a wooden spoon to gently mush the figs a bit to release some of their seeds and juices.

Bring to a simmer over low/medium-low heat. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. The finished mixture should be thicker with a syrup-like consistency.

Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Before serving, sprinkle with some pomegranate arils, if desired.

To enjoy, spread some of the Green Hill on a cracker, top with a leaf or two of arugula and finish with some of the stewed figs.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.


Gooey Grilled Cheese with Thomasville Tomme and Mango-Cranberry Chutney
Gooey Grilled Cheese with Thomasville Tomme and Mango-Cranberry Chutney

Gooey Grilled Cheese with Thomasville Tomme and Mango-Cranberry Chutney

Thomasville Tomme cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy is a fantastic melting cheese. It makes for a beautifully gooey grilled cheese. Adding some mango-cranberry chutney takes a basic grilled cheese up a notch, adding a sweet-savory factor. Tomme has a subtle, yet complex, earthy flavor that’s liked by kids and grown-ups alike. Serving size: one sandwich.

What you need:

  • Sliced bread (we like sourdough)
  • Butter, for brushing
  • Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme cheese, sliced, as much as your heart desires
  • Mango Chutney with Cranberry Pear Balsamic (recipe follows)

Directions: Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat.

Brush butter on one side of each slice of bread, place them butter-side-down. Top half of the slices with cheese, spread about 2 tablespoons of the chutney on the remaining slices. Place the chutney-chutney-spread slices, butter-side-up, upon the slices with cheese.

Add the sandwiches to the skillet to toast for a couple minutes on each side, flipping once. Pro tip: tent the sandwiches with foil to help the cheese melt without over-toasting your bread. Your sandwich is done when the cheese is melted throughout and the bread is toasted to your liking. Serve with extra chutney, if desired.

Mango Chutney with Cranberry Pear Balsamic

Ingredients:

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the mango, cranberries, honey and balsamic. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the mixture has thickened and the cranberries have plumped a bit, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Allow to cool a bit before serving. May be used warm, chilled or at room temperature. Will keep, sealed and refrigerated, for up to a week.

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