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Unripened Cheese? Yes, Please! 13 Sweet and Savoury Recipes

Unripened Cheese? Yes, Please! 13 Sweet and Savoury Recipes

From sweet mascarpone to rich ricotta, fresh cheeses are so versatile there should always be one on your grocery list. Here's a rundown on what they taste like, plus some quick and easy recipes to tempt your tastebuds.
Tasia Rivero
2013-02-26 14:13
2013-02-26 13:17

Unripened Cheese? Yes, Please! 13 Sweet and Savoury Recipes

The term "fresh cheese" is really just a catchall phrase for all unripened cheeses such as cottage cheese, quark, queso fresco and Boursin.

It's a tang thang
Nothing freshens a dish like a little sour note. Try stirring Boursin into your next bowl of soup or crumble queso fresco over your next pile of nachos and enchiladas for some zip. Tangy fresh cheeses are also great in dessert recipes, adding balance to sweetness.

Smooth sailing
Most people associate fresh cheeses with a rich and creamy taste to their favourite dishes. All good Italians know ricotta is the cheese of choice for cannelloni, lasagna and ravioli, plus it's growing in popularity as a pizza topping. Below are recipes with unexpected flavours using fresh cheese.

Cottage cheese
Cheeky Nutty Sandwich
This heavenly sandwich is made of nut butter, a spread of cottage cheese, your favourite fruits and a couple of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. A special treat for a special day!


Noodle Kugel
Kind of like mac and cheese using egg noodles, this savoury take on European Jewish lokshen kugel has been Canadianized with Oka cheese.

Low-Fat Blueberry Cheesecake
Here's a great cheesecake made with with nonfat pressed cottage cheese (which is less than 0.5 percent fat) and enriched with buttermilk.


Layered Leek and Cheese Spread
This all-season dip begs for a fresh loaf of crusty bread. For a version that's lower in fat, replace the mascarpone with regular or light softened cream cheese.


Cream cheese
Ginger Brownies with Chocolate Cream-Cheese Icing
These ultra-fudgy brownies with cream-cheese icing get an extra kick of flavour from crystallized ginger.


Greek-Inspired Cheese Ball with Baked Pita Chips
A far-out feta-spiked cheese-ball recipe that's lower in fat than the original. Oh, yeah!


Fresh herbed cheese/Boursin
Tomato Soup with Herbed Fresh Cheese
Herbed cheese, such as Boursin, is lovely in this soup, but if you use a plain fresh cheese, garnish the soup with some minced fresh chives and parsley.


Cheese-Stuffed Peppers
Chiles rellenos, a Mexican specialty of fried cheese-stuffed poblano peppers, is the inspiration for this lighter dish. Here, cubanelle, bell or poblano peppers are stuffed with a rich, smooth and soft cheese mixture, then baked quickly in tomato sauce.

Asparagus and Lemon Ricotta Pizza
Light and fresh, ricotta cheese and lemon make a wonderful base for seasonal asparagus.


Spinach and Walnut Whole Wheat Cannelloni
This healthy pasta dish is delicately flavoured with a satisfying contrast of textures: the smooth ricotta-and-spinach filling, crunchy walnuts and al dente pasta.

Hearty Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Lasagna revamped with layers of roasted veggies instead of pasta noodles!


Greek-Style Swiss Chard and Cheese Omelette
Always on the lookout for fresh ways to eat leafy greens? Here, Swiss chard with feta and ricotta cheeses make this omelette substantial enough to be a main dish for dinner.


Poached Pears with Honey Cider Sauce and Quark
This dessert is low in fat! Quark is a tangy low-fat fresh cheese, but you can use low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta instead, if you like.


Photography, Mark Schultz (Hearty Roasted Vegetable Lasagna).