Rustic Cheese and Black Pepper Biscuits

I think the word “rustic” in cooking is a kindly way of describing  a dish that looks, well, homely.

But “rustic” has its appeal. Especially when you take these rough-textured, golden morsels out of the oven and inhale the unforgettable odor of hot biscuits that hide something savory inside. A surprising fusion of good old American biscuits with a  zing of herbs, cheese, and black pepper.

Let the biscuits cool down a little, folded into a clean kitchen towel. The flavor of biscuits and similar quick breads develops as they cool. But you want to eat these still warm. And when you take a bite and feel the crisp crust with its herby topping yield to the savory, tender crumb, you forget about words and temperature.

Because it tastes like you’ll just want another biscuit, as soon as possible.

No need for butter, unless you’re madly devoted to biscuits broken in half and slathered with it. The batter has butter, the tops of the biscuits are glazed with butter. That’s why I bake these biscuits only once in a while, so that we don’t all start resembling large biscuits ourselves around here.

All the same, it’s half a cup over 20 pieces, so… it’s not too hard on the arteries. Just resist going to the fridge and getting the butter out.

Biscuits like these naturally go with soup. But if it’s too summery and hot for soup, try making two or three salads and an omelet. With rustic biscuits, that’s a fine summer meal.

Grate your cheese on the large holes of your grater. Anyone still use these box graters? I do, because I’d rather not use electric appliances if I don’t have to. I’d rather hand wash a box grater than schelp my food processor into the sink. But you know my thoughts on washing dishes.

grating cheese

And I like the bumpy shape my biscuits get when I drop them from a quarter-cup measure.


Can’t get enough.

cheddar biscuits with butter and parsley topping

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