Hide and Seek
Looking for a hidden treasure? Seek out this tasty Italian table cheese. Brenta Stagionato is a cheese that I am unwrapping and introducing to you. It is a cheese born from the ancient cheesemaking tradition of Northeastern Italy. This cheese takes its name from the river Brenta that flows through Trentino Alto-Adige and the Veneto region to the Adriatic sea. The cow’s milk is gathered locally from the Italian Alps where there is an exceptional array of grasses for grazing.
I love the full-bodied (yet not overpowering) flavor. It is deliciously sweet, creamy, nutty and herbaceous, with a nice fresh milk flavor. It is somewhat similar to a Piave in flavor. Brenta is aged for a minimum of two months. Its texture is semi-firm to firm. I prepared this fresh recipe below to compliment my Brenta and thoroughly enjoyed it with a glass of Mazzei Ser Lap Chianti Classico Riserva 2008-delizioso!
2 pounds large heirloom tomatoes—cored, halved lengthwise and thickly sliced into half-moons
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 pounds escarole, inner leaves only, torn into bite-size pieces
- 3 cups Brenta cheese shavings
- On a platter, season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the oil; toss. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and the lemon juice. Add the escarole, season with salt and pepper and toss. Mound the escarole on a platter and top with the tomatoes and any accumulated juices. Scatter the cheese shavings on top and serve.
Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July:-)