Cheese is not normally a regular on the diet to-do list, but portion-controlled amounts can be a healthy way to get much-needed calcium. And higher quality varieties are rich enough that a little goes a long way. These cheese recipes will teach you the perfect way to satisfy your cravings without overindulging.
Brie A creamy French cheese, Brie is an ideal dessert cheese because its mild yet rich flavor pairs well with fruits and breads. And baking it for about five minutes gives it a melt-in-your-mouth, delicious texture. Serve with a full-bodied red wine like Merlot or a lighter sparkling wine.
This sweet and slightly salty Swiss cheese works well in a variety of recipes. When melted, it has a creamy texture that's perfect for fondues and baked goods. However, for the beginner cook, start by adding it to your sandwich—the flavor complements the saltiness of deli meat. Dry white wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc pair well with it.
You've probably read about the health factors of the Mediterranean diet. Fortunately, tangy feta cheese is part of it. Its semi-hard texture is ideal for salads and allows it to hold up well when baked. And feta is figure-friendly—it is slightly lower in fat than some of its cheesier counterparts. Enjoy it with a lighter fruity wine like Pinot Gris or a peppery Pinot Noir.
Craving a strong flavor? Blue cheese is deliciously sharp and carries a pungent smell. Paired with other milder foods, it makes a great focal point to any meal, and it is especially wonderful with bitter salad greens, figs, and a variety of stone fruit. When serving it with wine, be sure to pick one that is full-bodied, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or port.