Celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day January 20, 2011 | Events
MONTEREY, CA (January 1, 2010) Royal Rose Radicchio of Salinas, Calif. is celebrating National Cheese Lover’s Day (held every January 20th) with radicchio recipes and pairing suggestions.
The increasingly sophisticated American palate has discovered the strengths of radicchio — its alluring color, satisfying bitterness, and refreshing crunch. Nothing compliments the complexity of this Italian chicory better than a rich cheese; like spaghetti and meatballs, radicchio and cheese belong together. Great chefs have long known that we begin the dining experience first with our eyes, and radicchio holds great visual appeal, with its vibrant, wine-colored leaves that brighten any dish. Then comes mouth-feel, and few foods can match this versatile vegetable’s texture that lends a cool, refreshing crispness to the plate. Finally, as we chew, flavor hits our 10,000-plus taste buds, and radicchio’s peppery, slightly bitter essence provides a soothing counterbalance to the other flavors of salt, sweet and sour. Whether a cheese is creamy, or salty, or sweet, it allows for the multi-dimensional flavor characteristics of the radicchio.
Like radicchio, cheese is protected and categorized by its geographic origin in Italy. DOP stands for denominazione d’origine protetta, or protected designation of origin. Italian cheeses were made according to a certain historical method in an approved region, made according to time-honored and internationally permitted methods. Italy is appropriately famous for its formaggi, with over 450 varieties of cheese used in cooking, eaten with meals, and paired with food and wine. Here are a few of our favorite radicchio recipes using complimentary cheeses:
Radicchio Wrapped Goat Cheese
Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
12 Royal Rose™ radicchio leaves, blanched slightly in simmering water to soften
3 - 4 ounce logs goat cheese cut into rounds
6 small tomatoes (yellow and orange if available), sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
Whisk first four ingredients together. Arrange leaves on work surface. Brush center of each leaf with marinade. Place cheese rounds in center of each leaf. Fold up leaf around cheese creating bundles, cover and chill. Heat seasoned grill to medium-high. Brush each wrap with dressing and grill until cheese softens and leaves slightly char. Arrange tomatoes slices on plate, place bundles on top Drizzle with remaining dressing, salt and pepper. Option: garnish with fresh thyme or chives.
Cheese Trio & Radicchio Pizza
2 balls(8 to 10 oz. each) favorite pizza dough
Flour as needed
Cornmeal as needed, if desired
6 oz. sun dried tomatoes in herbed olive oil, julienne-cut
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 oz. Royal Rose™ radicchio, coarsely shredded
4 oz. diced pancetta, prosciutto, or cooked bacon
4 oz. shredded Mozzarella
3 oz. shredded Fontina cheese
2 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
Crust: Heat oven to 475 F. Sprinkle flour on a clean smooth surface and stretch dough using your hand or rolling pin to flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thick circle. Transfer dough to spray-coated or cornmeal-dusted 12-inch pizza pans. Continue stretching to fit pans.
Reserve 3 tablespoons of herbed olive oil in a small bowl. Blend in garlic and red pepper flakes. Brush oil onto crusts. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, just until crust begins to brown.
Topping: Top each crust with 3 oz. sun dried tomatoes, 2 oz. radicchio, 2 oz. pancetta, 2 oz. Mozzarella. 1.5 oz. Fontina, and 1 oz. Gorgonzola. Bake additional 5 to 7 minutes until cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from oven; sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
Royal Rose, LLC
1120 Growers Street
Salinas, CA 93901
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