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Cherry Tomato & Daru Galette

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Spring is here. It’s official.

As I type this, I assure you I’m aware that back home in Eastern Canada people are still buried under ten feet of snow. I know you’re having a rough winter. I’m really sorry.

But spring is here in Tipperary!

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There are puddles to jump into, new calves every day and my garden is once again starting to grow. I feel like it wasn’t that long ago that everything died. The winters here are very short compared to the ones I’m used to – yet another reason I’m glad I moved to Ireland.

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The farm is busy at this time of year; mostly due to calving. Slurry needs to be spread over the fields, the cows still need to be fed silage until the grass starts growing, the calves need to be marked and separated (and fed) and the cows who have given birth once again need to be milked twice a day.

It’s not easy. Just today we lost a mother and one of her twins, and Maeve shared an apt new word: “sad”. We’re not 100% sure what happened, but we do know that it was sudden and there was nothing we could do. We take a little bit of solace in that knowledge, but it’s been a sad day anyway.

But even with those two losses, we’re surrounded by brand-spanking-new life every day, and that’s a wonderful thing. Maeve loves visiting the “baby moos” and watches them in earnest on our calf-cam (we’ve got a 24 hour feed in the birthing shed). She’s a little farmer already.

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It’s still cold most days, but when the sun is shining it feels warm. It makes me want to eat fresh veggies, leafy greens and tangy cheeses.

Like this galette!

Sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme from the garden and local Cooleeney Daru cheese. Daru is semi-hard, buttery and perfect for tarts. It’s made from their own cows’ milk. It’s distinctly Tipperary in flavour. And it’s made just down the road from me! I had a whole slew of Cooleeney cheese to work my way through recently and thought the Daru would be perfect with tomatoes.

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Some other favourite Cooleeney cheeses? Their Gleann Oir (goat’s milk, semi-hard), Cooleeney Farmhouse (creamy, edible rind) and Gortnamona (goat’s milk, soft & creamy). It’s hard to pick just one.

This galette is so easy to throw together at the last minute (particularly if you have some pie dough in the fridge or freezer). Make sure you season the tomatoes as the salt content in the cheese will not be enough.

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Cherry Tomato & Daru Galette

Ingredients:

One recipe pie dough, chilled

1 pint cherry or vine tomatoes, sliced in half

1 small wheel Cooleeney Daru cheese (if you can’t get Cooleeney cheese I think taleggio would also work well here)

A handful of fresh thyme, picked & roughly chopped

Flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper

A drizzle of olive oil

One egg, beaten

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees Celsius, no fan). Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  • In a bowl, add the halved cherry tomatoes, chopped thyme, sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat the tomatoes and set aside.
  • Remove the rind from the Daru and crumble the cheese. Set aside.
  • Roll out your pie dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. If you want a clean looking galette you can trim the edges with a pizza cutter to make a neat circle; for a more rustic look don’t bother.
  • Place the rolled dough onto the baking sheet and arrange the seasoned tomatoes in the center. Top with the crumbled Daru cheese.
  • Fold the sides over the filling, leaving the center part exposed.
  • Brush the exposed dough with the beaten egg.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes (check at 30 minutes to be safe). The crust should be flaky and golden brown; the cheese should be bubbly and the tomatoes cooked through. Sprinkle more flaky sea salt and fresh thyme over top; drizzle a bit more olive oil.
  • Serve hot or warm with a simple salad.
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Moyne, Co. Tipperary

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Moyne is a small village (and larger outlying community) in North Tipperary. I was there this past weekend to check out Cooleeney Farm and try some of the amazing artisanal soft-rind cheeses they make.

Cheese, glorious cheese.

Cheese, glorious cheese.

Most locals might think Moyne isn’t anything special, but I love the village – the centuries-old graveyard, the cozy pubs, the massive stone church. I like how everything in the community runs on its own time and how, in this tiny village, there is a thriving arts scene with a fabulous theatre troupe.

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Cooleeney makes it a great place, too. The folk there have been making cheese since the late ’80’s and use milk from their own cows to make it (they also get goat’s milk from down the way and make some really spectacular goat cheeses). While I was there I got to peek at some of the cheeses they’re currently working on and – wow. There’s going to be some great stuff released in the next few months.

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At Cooleeney Farm

At Cooleeney Farm

I don’t know if you know this about me (ha), but I love Tipperary. I love being close to our family and living on our farm, and I love that our grass is so green and our cheese, butter, cream and meat taste so damn good as a result. I love that you can get cheese and craft beer just down the road and that those who make these things are so friendly. Great neighbours to have.

Just so you know, you probably shouldn't go 80 km/h on this road. The sign is more like a dare.

Just so you know, you probably shouldn’t go 80 km/h on this road. The sign is more like a dare.

I also love that places like Moyne exist. If you’re travelling through Ireland you will find a lot of areas catered to tourists, but Moyne is the real deal – the real Ireland.

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