A staggering 3.1m slices of cheese are thrown away every day in the UK*, so it’s time to clear out the cheese drawer and learn to love our leftovers. From tips on storage to delicious recipes, we’ve got everything you need to prevent anything going to waste.
Prevent the issue of leftover cheese by using it generously. If it’s pure gooey indulgence you’re after, then make leftover cheese the star of the show. Try a whole baked Camembert in sourdough for a cheat’s fondue, or melt together a queso fundido and scoop onto tortilla chips. Finally, you can never go wrong with a toastie – go classic with ham and cheese or try a fruity prosciutto and nectarine grilled cheese.
Wrap leftover cheese in baking paper (clingfilm will make it sweat) and store in the vegetable drawer of the fridge, inside an airtight container to avoid Stilton-scented produce. Use strong cheese in this punchy dressing: blitz blue cheese in a food processor with soured cream, a splash of white wine vinegar, olive oil and a little Dijon mustard; season. Drizzle over winter salads or roasted Savoy cabbage wedges for a different winter side dish.
More cheese than you can eat? Hard cheeses can be cut into portions, grated or sliced, then wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months. Freezing will make cheese more crumbly so, once thawed, it’s best used for cooking, such as in a rich, creamy risotto. Balance a sweet leek risotto with blue cheese or finish a roasted tomato risotto with plenty of grated hard cheese.
It’s easy to get over-excited when you’re planning the festive cheeseboard and end up with more than you really need. Stick to five: a mature Cheddar, a blue cheese, a Brie or Camembert, and a few other favourites should fit the bill nicely. Serve with homemade thyme oatcakes and your favourite chutney.
Clear out odds and ends in the cheese drawer by combining your selection for ultimate cheesy indulgence. Bake a batch of three-cheese scones and spread generously with herby butter, or treat friends to luxurious lobster macaroni cheese using Parmesan, strong cheddar and Gruyère.
Get baking to transform your leftover cheese into new indulgent treats. Go gluten-free with this no-knead courgette and feta bread, ideal spread with houmous, or topped with eggs and avocado for brunch. Mini goat’s cheese and spinach muffins are perfect for lunchboxes, while a hearty cheese and onion pie is winter comfort food at its best.
The end of hard cheeses can be used up in simple cheese straws – brush ready-rolled puff pastry with beaten egg; then sprinkle with grated Cheddar (or any hard cheese), poppy seeds and finely chopped rosemary. Cut into strips, twist and bake until golden. Alternatively, try spiced chilli cheese toasts with melting mozzarella, Cheddar and a triple chilli hit.
*Love Food Hate Waste
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