Summer draws to a close and our friends Ingyin and Yosi prepare to return to Abu Dhabi and to the new term at NYU Abu Dhabiâ€™s Physics Department. Not quite yet, but too soon. So we planned a fancy dinner while we still had time, and started with drinks out on our balcony.
Itâ€™s been a lovely summer out there, 14 floors above the city. The basil has colonized the corner, the mint has spread tendrils up the railing. We have flowering chives, and lush rosemary, and silver sage, and a robust parsley bush. Itâ€™s lovely to water them all in the evening after a long day, and to smell the herbs as the water trickles through them.
So I made rosemary parmesan shortbreads to go with our bottle of wine. And we all forgot to think about them leaving, and us moving apartments, and the sun set over the city around us, and everything was right with the world.
Rosemary Parmesan Shortbreads
When I was at cooking school weâ€™d make these every week to use up scraps of leftover cheese. They went my the name Grange Disks, after the location of the school. But theyâ€™re really just a simple butter shortbread with cheese â€“ any cheese – and herbs â€“ and herbs â€“ that you think would be nice.
Combinations I make a lot are:
- Blue cheese and a little bit of fresh sage
- Cheddar and a small blob of grain mustard
- Rosemary and any kind of hard cheese
- Make sure the butter is really soft
- Mix everything together in a bowl, then dump out onto plastic wrap
- Divide the mixture in half to make it easier to work with, then roll each piece of dough into a snake, about the size of a poker chip / two pound coin
- Chill for half an hour in the fridge (or freeze, and bring back to cold room temp before proceeding)
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Slice into fat coins and arrange on a baking sheet covered in parchment
- Bake for 15 mins until just golden at the edges
- Eat warm with wine