September Is Italian Cheese Month

Celebrate cheese, glorious cheese with some of our favorite recipes

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…

Savory Sweet Peach Basil Crostini

Sweet and salty. Floral and herbal. Creamy and crunchy. This is a little slice of summer, folks. Perfect for a picnic or brunch...but also great as a quick and easy lunch or supper, too (add a little prosciutto for some extra protein and a bit more substance).

• 1 loaf sourdough or French baguette, cut into ½-inch slices
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• 1 ½ cups ricotta
• 3 teaspoons honey
• 2 peaches, thinly sliced
• 6 leaves basil, chiffonade
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.

2. Place under broiler set to high until toasted, approximately 1-2 minutes. Do not leave unattended--it will cook quickly.

3. Remove toasted bread slices and place on serving platter.

4. Spread each slice of bread with approximately 1 Tablespoon ricotta. Drizzle each with honey.

5. Top with slices of peach, using approximately 2-3 slices per piece. Sprinkle with basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Foodal 

Classic Caprese Salad

An appetizer or an doesn't get much easier, or more delicious, than Caprese salad.

•16-ounce fresh mozzarella log, sliced
• 2 tomatoes, sliced 
• 1 cup basil leaves, fresh
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper, to taste

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.

Lacy Parmesan Crisps

Parmesan cheese crisps, also called frico, are a delicious, crispity, crunchity gnosh that goes well on burgers and sandwiches, in tomato soup, on a salad, or just as a snack. It also makes a great accoutrement to a cocktail bar--try it with your bloody mary! 

•1/2 cup grated parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. A silicone liner also works.

2. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese onto sheet, and gently pat down. Be careful not to pat it too thin, or the crisp will burn.

3. Repeat process until cheese is gone, spacing about 1/2" apart.

4. Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Decadent Date Night Mushroom Fettuccine

A warm, creamy, rich combination of flavors...this twist on the popular pasta dish makes a wonderfully decadent date-night (or any night!) dish.

• 1/2 cup real butter (one stick), divided
• 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped 
• 16 ounces fresh sliced baby bella mushrooms (but feel free to use more—I know I do!)
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1 pound fettuccine noodles
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup reserved pasta water
• 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
• fresh ground black pepper
• optional, for garnish: parsley, marjoram, thyme, or basil; truffle oil

1. Wash mushrooms and pat dry. 

2. Add garlic and mushrooms to a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Sauté until the mushrooms are soft with deep brown color, about 10-15 minutes. 

3. Add cream and the rest of the butter. Simmer over low heat.

4. Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine in a large pot according to package directions. Drain noodles, reserving a little bit of the water, and return to pan.

5. Add mushroom sauce to the hot fettuccine in the pan. Toss with tongs to mix. Add Parmesan and up to 1 cup of reserved pasta water as needed to get the consistency right. 

6. Season with salt and pepper. 

Note: A drizzle of truffle oil to finish will take it to the next level! 

Adapted from A Pinch of Yum

Frico Friulano

Cheese and potatoes make up the base of this hearty Italian staple. Montasio is an aged, aromatic cheese with a bouquet and fruity, grassy notes. It was first made by monks from the milk of cows that graze in the foothills of the Alps, and even now, hundreds of years later, the recipe remains almost the same. If you can't find montasio, asiago or a good parmigiano reggiano works, as well.

• ½ pound Montasio, grated
• 1 medium potato (½ pound), peeled & grated
• 1 small onion, sliced
• 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Salt & freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1. Pour the olive oil into the skillet, set over medium heat, and scatter in the sliced onion. Cook for a minute, then scatter the potato in the pan. Toss and tumble the potatoes with the onion, and season with the salt and grinds of black pepper. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, tossing frequently, until the potatoes are lightly crisped and golden.

2. Add the cheese and combine with the potatoes and onion, until the cheese is well mixed. Scrape sides of pan, and smooth the vegetables and cheese mixture into a neat pancake-like disk, filling the pan bottom.

3. Lower the heat and let the frico cook, undisturbed, as the cheese melts and crisps, until the bottom is very brown and nicely crusted, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan to loosen the disk, put a large plate on top and invert, dropping the frico onto the plate, then slide it back in the skillet, top side down. Cook until the second side is crisp and brown, about 5 minutes more.

4. Slide the frico onto a plate, slice into 6 wedges, and serve immediately.

Image courtesy of and recipe adapted from Eataly

Berry Ricotta Crème Brulée

We're always amazed at how it only takes a few simple ingredients to make such a delicious dessert...that's the magic of cheese, we suppose! For the berries, just about any summer fruit works in this dessert. Fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, chopped peaches, cherries…or a combination!

• 18 ounces high-quality ricotta cheese
• 2 Tablespoons sugar
• 1 lb berries (more, if desired, for garnish) 
• 4 Tablespoons brown sugar

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. 

Adapted from Galbani Cheese


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