Imagine, if you will, blending together parmesan and asiago cheese, a little garlic, crushed red pepper, oregano, and lots of olive oil, and then spreading this lovely concoction on a perfectly toasted slice of baguette. If you’re anything like me (and I like to think you are), then you would also have to imagine having another, which would then be followed by probably quite a few more. This here is some scary good stuff and it should most certainly come with a warning label of some kind…proceed at your own risk…addictive, rich, and did I mention addictive?
This delectable recipe originated with Michael Chiarello a few years back, but at present is being served at The Bottega Restaurant in Napa, California. I know this not because I’ve been there (I have not), but because my brother and his wife were recently there and swooning over this parmesan spread. For good reason. They emailed me the recipe, and more quickly than I choose to tell you, it was sitting on a perfect little crostini in front of me. And I will say that if you’re so inclined, it is ever so lovely with a glass of your favorite cab or zinfandel.
In addition to being a delicious topper for your crostini, our salsa di parmigiana would also be ever so good tossed with pasta, spooned over fresh tomatoes or drizzled over roasted veggies. Makes no difference how you serve it, it’s dangerously good stuff. Here’s the recipe…
SALSA DI PARMIGIANO
Recipe courtesy of The Bottega Restaurant, Napa, California
(Yield: 2+ Cups)
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, broken into 1" chunks
8 ounces Asiago cheese, broken into 1" chunks
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 to 11/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for about 10 seconds, to break the cheese into small granules. (Use a rubber spatula to scrape down and recombine between every couple of pulses.)
Taste for salt and transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Taste for salt and transfer the salsa to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.