Green light

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 August, 2010, 12:00am

Sage derby isn't the most attractive of cheeses. Originally made by layering sage leaves with derby cheese, which speckled the yellow cheese with green, it now gets much of its colour from vegetable dye, so it's more of a lurid marbled green. The cheese was first made in the 17th century, when sage was believed to have medicinal effects. It's made of pasteurised cow's milk.

Because sage goes well with meat, especially poultry and pork, the cheese is delicious in hot sandwiches. Toast a slice of bread, top with thin slices of roast turkey or pork loin, then a slice of sage derby. Put the open-faced sandwich under the grill for a few minutes, or until the cheese melts slightly, then eat with a knife and fork.

It's also good in potato and sausage quiche. Pre-bake a quiche shell. Whisk eggs with cream, salt, pepper and a little grated nutmeg. Boil a large potato until tender, then cut it into cubes. Pan-fry a couple of mild pork sausages, then cut them into chunks. Cut some sage derby into small cubes and scatter them loosely across the bottom of the quiche shell. Mix together the sausage and potato, then put half of them over the cheese. Add another layer of cheese, the rest of the sausage and potato and a final layer of cheese. Pour the milk-and-egg mixture over the ingredients, then bake at 180 degrees Celsius until done - it will be slightly puffed and a little wobbly at the centre. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.