Mindful Eating: Cheese

Cheese is not just for cheese plates. Food fanatic and mindful eating advocate Béatrice Peltre loves to use it in spring dishes.

When I was a little girl, my mom would take me to the farmers market, where I always sought out this one man who sold soft, fresh goat cheese. I’ll never forget the way it melted away in my mouth, the taste indescribably fresh and beautiful.

Cheese comes in so many different, exciting varieties, and each has its own unique texture and flavor. It can be a wonderful accent to a dish—shaved pieces of Parmesan or manchego on a simple tartine or salad adds a little intensity; a nice Gruyère sprinkled on a gratin of layered vegetables cooked very lightly under the broiler creates a lovely, golden crust.

When spring arrives I get so excited by all the gorgeous vegetables that start to sprout up in the markets, like crisp asparagus and perfectly sweet green peas. I want fresh flavors, something cleansing after all the hearty comfort foods we tend to eat in the fall and the winter. So I often think of cheeses that are fruity and flavorful, and not too intense.

Prosciutto and melon is a classic pairing of sweet and savory, which I’ve chosen to enhance with the subtle creaminess of goat cheese. Cut into little pieces,…