Everyone already knows that July is all about the independence of the United States, but did you also know that it is both National Culinary Arts month and National Picnic month? What better way to celebrate than by featuring this month’s pecorino cheeses in a handcrafted picnic style charcuterie board? These three cheeses are guaranteed to pack a lot of flavor in each bite!
This delightful sheep milk cheese is a welcome addition to any picnic. The unique flavor of this cheese comes from adding pistachios, both ground and pieces, to the curd just prior to the aging process. Not only does this provide a little crunch to the otherwise creamy pecorino it will also delight the tastebuds with the sharpness of the pecorino combined with the salty pistachios.
Next, this pecorino cheese has been infused with olives, arugula, and red peppers, which delivers quite the kick to your tastebuds. Fantasia is moderately spicy but extremely delicious. Each bite of this cheese is guaranteed to bring a little something different, so you feel like you are eating more than one cheese. Fantasia pairs really well with a dry Italian salami and salted crackers.
Last, but not least, this cheese has been infused with Italian truffles. If you are looking for the perfect savory snack, look no further. This cheese is sure to be the star of the picnic as it delivers a delicious earthy-truffle flavor in every bite. While this cheese is particularly good with a glass of red wine, I won’t tell if you decide to eat the whole thing all by itself!
Pecorino cheeses are an Italian hard semi-cooked paste, obtained from whole sheep’s milk and with an aging period of not more than 15 days. The production consists of adding milk enzymes and sheep rennet in paste to pasteurized sheep’s milk and cooled to +37°/+40° C. This promotes milk coagulation and formation of the curd. The latter is then broken up and placed in cylindrical baskets, pressed manually and sprayed with whey at 85° C.
After recooking, the baskets are left to rest and turned to help drain the remaining whey. According to the type of Pecorino desired, different types of filling are added to the paste when it is placed into baskets. The resulting cheeses are then dry-salted and left to age for a couple of weeks.
The classic Pecorino and black pepper combination is delicious on way more than pasta. Try it on veggies and rice for a punch of delicious flavor
3 pounds new potatoes or baby Yukon Gold potatoes
⅓ cup olive oil
4 oz. Pecorino, finely grated, divided
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, divided
Step 1 Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer back to pot. Add oil, 1 cup Pecorino, and 1 Tbsp. pepper and toss until cheese is melted and potatoes are coated; season with salt.
Step 2 Transfer potatoes to a platter; top with remaining Pecorino and 1 Tbsp. pepper.