Edam is 25% less fat than cheddar and other hard cheeses – kids also love the natural and mild flavour. It has 14% more calcium in it than cheddar so a bonus for those growing bones. The salads are light, refreshing and perfect as a light lunch or great as part of a bigger meal. The baked eggs with Edam and ham are perfect for brunch and a great way if using eggs this Easter! The meatball and cheese pasta bake is a tasty dish perfect for all the family.

New potato, asparagus and Dutch Edam salad

This salad makes a delicious, light meal. Char-grilling the asparagus brings out the full flavour and retains the colour and is the perfect partner for Dutch Edam. The salad is dressed with a light, herby vinaigrette.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

500g (1lb 1oz) small new potatoes, halved if large
350g (12oz) asparagus spears
75ml (5tbsp) olive oil
125g (4oz) Dutch Edam wedge, cut into thin strips
125g (4oz) cooked chicken breast, cut into thin strips

For the dressing:
30ml (2tbsp) freshly chopped mint
15ml (1tbsp) freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
15ml (1tbsp) freshly snipped chives
15ml (1tbsp) white wine vinegar
15ml (1tbsp) lemon juice
5ml (1tsp) clear honey

1. Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain and allow to cool.

2. Remove any woody stems from the asparagus by bending the end of the spears. They should snap easily at the point where the woody part begins.

3. Heat 15ml (1tbsp) of the oil in a griddle or frying pan. Place the asparagus spears in the pan in a single layer. Cook for 5-6 minutes, turning the spears once, until they are slightly charred and just tender. Remove and allow to cool.

4. Place the cooled potatoes, asparagus, Dutch Edam and chicken in a salad bowl and mix gently together.

5. Place the herbs, remaining oil, vinegar, lemon juice and honey in a screw top jar with salt and freshly ground black pepper and shake well to combine. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss together to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Cook’s tip: If you take out the chicken, this salad makes a perfect accompaniment to barbecued meat and fish.

Dutch Edam, orange and fennel salad

Orange and fennel are a classic combination that is enhanced by the addition of Dutch Edam and an orange and olive dressing. Perfect as a light lunch or summer meal.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes

2 large oranges
1 medium head of fennel
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
75g (3oz) mixed spinach, rocket and watercress leaves
150g (5oz) Dutch Edam wedge, cut into cubes

For the dressing:
15g (½oz) pitted black olives, finely chopped
15ml (1tbsp) freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
30ml (2tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
30ml (2tbsp) orange juice
5ml (1tsp) balsamic vinegar

1. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin and pith from the oranges. Then, holding the oranges over a bowl, cut into segments between the membranes. Reserve the orange juice and place the segments into a salad bowl.

2. Discard the tough outer layer from the fennel, then thinly slice. Place in the bowl with the orange segments, red onion, salad leaves and Dutch Edam.

3. To make the dressing, place 30ml (2tbsp) of the reserved orange juice and all the remaining dressing ingredients together in a screw top jar and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake well, until combined, then pour over the salad. Gently toss together until the salad is evenly coated.

4. Divide between 4 bowls and serve immediately.

Cook’s tip: You can marinate the cheese, orange, fennel and red onion in the dressing, but remember to add the leaves just before serving or they will wilt from the acid in the dressing.

Baked eggs with Dutch Edam and ham

These baked cheesy eggs, wrapped in ham, are sure to be a favourite with both children and adults. Dutch Edam gives a smooth indulgence to this delicious dish. They make a wonderful breakfast or brunch, served with white bread soldiers and tomato ketchup.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

15ml (1tbsp) sunflower oil
4 slices ham
50g (2oz) Dutch Edam wedge, grated
4 medium eggs
A pinch of paprika pepper

To serve:
Crusty white bread, cut into soldiers
Tomato ketchup

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, 400ºF, gas mark 6. Lightly brush four holes in a muffin tin with the oil.

2. Arrange a slice of ham in each hole, to come over the edge of the hole. Divide the cheese between the ham cases, reserving a little for the top.

3. One by one, crack each egg into a cup, and pour into the ham cases. Sprinkle each with the remaining cheese, and a little paprika, then bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

4. Serve hot with soldiers of fresh white crusty bread to dip in the runny yolk and tomato ketchup.

Cook’s tip: If you don’t like runny yolks, just cook the eggs for an extra 2-3 minutes.

Meatball and Dutch Edam pasta bake

This cheesy meatball and pasta bake makes a great midweek meal, perfect for all the family. The natural, mild taste of Dutch Edam means this pasta dish is a winner with the kids. Just serve with a crisp green salad.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 30 minutes

30ml (2tbsp) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
450g (1lb) lean minced beef
150g (5oz) Dutch Edam wedge, cut into small cubes
5ml (1tsp) dried oregano
1 egg, beaten
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
5ml (1tsp) sugar
300g (10½oz) dried rigatoni or penne pasta
60ml (4tbsp) freshly shredded basil
1 x 200g tub low fat crème fraîche

To serve:
Crisp green salad

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Cover and sweat the onions over a medium heat for 4 minutes, until softened. Transfer half the onions to a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the minced beef, 50g (2oz) of the Dutch Edam, oregano and egg to the onions in the bowl. Season well, then mix together. Shape into 20 small meatballs.

3. Add the peppers and meatballs to the onions in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the meatballs are lightly browned all over. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and sugar. Season and bring to the boil. Partially cover with a lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to pack instructions. Drain well and return to the pan to keep warm.

5. Stir 45ml (3tbsp) of the basil into the tomato sauce, then stir in the drained pasta. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Mix together the remaining Dutch Edam and basil with the crème fraîche and spoon over the pasta and meatballs. Cook under a preheated moderate grill for 6-7 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Cook’s tip: Add other vegetables that you may have in the fridge to the pasta to finish them off, like courgette or aubergine.