The Mustard Seed: Herbed Rarebit

 Serves 4

Shallots, parsley, chives, and a generous shot of mustard enliven this classic peasant dish. For a real treat, place thickly sliced fresh tomatoes on the toast, season with salt and pepper, then spoon the rarebit over all. Spinach salad with vinaigrette and coleslaw are good foils for the cheesy sauce.

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup finely minced shallot, about 1 medium
• 2/3 cup beer at room temperature
• 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or scant 1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled leaves
• 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon mustard powder
• 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or tamari soy sauce (optional)
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley or lovage leaves
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
• 8 slices country-style bread, toasted

1. In a double boiler over barely simmering water or in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, add the shallot, and cook for 3 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the beer, and when it is hot, whisk in the cheese, a handful at a time, adding the thyme with the last handful. Stir in the egg, mustard, paprika, salt, and Worcestershire or tamari sauce all at once. Add the parsley and half of the chives. Stir well until the rarebit just begins to bubble.

2. Place two slices of toast on each of four plates, spoon on the sauce, garnish with the remaining chives, and serve immediately.

Click here for the original article, Herb to Know: The Mustard Seed.

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