Things That Make You Go "Yum"!
Celebrate National Italian Cheese Month with these tasty tidbits
Buttery, bold, creamy, crumbly, nutty…delicious. With as many as 450 varieties of Italian cheese, there are enough tastes and textures to satisfy every age group and palate.
September is National Italian Cheese Month…and what’s the best way to celebrate? BY EATING, of course! The wide diversity of Italian cheeses means there’s a recipe for every occasion. Create the ultimate cheese plate to sample and share at work. Have your friends over for a make-your-own-pizza party. Or treat your family to decadent desserts like Cannoli and Tiramisu. There are so many ways to celebrate Italian Cheese, all you need is the appetite!
We’ve assembled a few of our favorite recipes to get you started…
Grilled Margherita Pizza
1. Preheat and oil the grill.
2. Roll out pizza dough on a surface lightly oiled with olive oil. Being careful not to tear it, stretch the dough out…make a circle, a wedge, an oval, a rectangle, or a gingerbread man…whatever shape you like!
3. Place the dough directly on the grill grates over med-low heat.
4. Grill the dough until the bottom is crisp and has a slight char. Carefully flip the dough over using a spatula and immediately top the pizza with sauce and ingredients.
5. Close/cover the grill and cook until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble.
*Some people prefer an olive-oil base for their Margherita ‘za—in that case, simply omit sauce step, drizzle top of pizza with olive oil, and then add the rest of toppings.
Berry Ricotta Crème Brulée
1. Mix the ricotta cheese and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
2. Divide berries, and add to the bottoms of 4 (6-ouce) ramekin dishes.
3. Fill each ramekin to the top with ricotta cheese mixture and top evenly with a sprinkling of brown sugar.
4. Place under the broiler, or use a kitchen torch to heat until the sugar bubbles and caramelizes.
5. Cool for 5-10 minutes, top with additional fruit if desired, and serve.
*Just about any summer fruit works in this dessert. Fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, chopped peaches, cherries…or a combination!
Adapted from Galbani Cheese
Cheesy Rustic Pasta Bake
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place zucchini, onion, tomatoes (skin side down), and garlic cloves on large baking sheet, combine with olive oil and 1 tsp Italian spices and several grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes. Turn zucchini slices and onions about halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, place large pot of water on stove over high heat. When water is boiling, add kosher salt and pasta. Cook until pasta is about 3/4 done, approximately 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3.Check vegetables after 30 minutes and remove from oven when nicely roasted. Set aside to cool. When vegetables are cool, remove peel from garlic cloves and roughly chop the other vegetables. Set aside.
4. Combine ricotta, 8 ounces mozzarella, parmesan cheese, eggs, 1 tsp Italian spices, and several grinds of freshly ground pepper in large bowl.
5. Reset oven to 350 degrees F. In a large baking dish, combine roasted vegetables and pasta. Add sausage and tomato sauce. Top with cheese mixture and gently mix. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake covered with aluminum foil for approximately 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned on top.
Adapted from Genius Kitchen
Cheesy Crisp ChipsIngredients
• Sandwich-sliced hard cheese (asiago or parmesan are excellent)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut cheese slices into quarter squares.
3. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave space between squares.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching constantly.
5. Remove early for a chewier chip. Bake longer for a crispier chip.
These are great served with dips or spread such as olive tapenade; as a burger or sandwich topping; sprinkled on tomato soup; or simply eaten plain.
Classic Caprese Salad
1. Layer fresh mozzarella and tomato slices on plate.
2. Garnish each slice with a basil leaf.
3. Drizzle with olive oil.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.