This is a sponsored post. I was given free product to sample and to develop a recipe from Asiago Cheese Consortium. All opinions are my own.
I’ve been craving travel something fierce lately, and when I say “travel,” of course I mean I’m ready to go back to Italy (I’ve only spent a total of seven or so months there, all trips combined, so I need at least another five months if I’m ever going to write a book called My Year in Italy, which will definitely be turned into a movie).
While in the midst of my travel-hankering, I received a box containing real, authentic, straight-from-Italy Asiago Cheese PDO. PDO, by the way, means Protected Designation of Origin. When you see the letters “PDO,” you know that you’re getting true Asiago Cheese – a product that is produced, matured, packaged, and distributed in compliance with Asiago DOP Cheese Production Regulations.
I was very excited to try out the cheese and spent a good afternoon sipping wine on the deck while getting inspiration with these great recipe ideas.
I have to say that authentic Asiago cheese tastes markedly different than non-PDO Asiago that I’ve had before. I wasn’t expecting the texture; the fresh cheese has small holes in it and is soft and somewhat spongy. The flavor is fresh, milky, and somewhat sweet – nothing like the bland, hard stuff that I had tried previously.
I invited some of my favorite ladies over and made a hot, bubbly dip loaded with cheese, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. This creamy dip combines fresh herbs (thyme and oregano) and earthy portobello mushrooms with mellow, flavorful authentic Asiago Cheese PDO.
I thought that the recipe would serve six, and I’m still sure that it would, but we ended up just eating the entire dish as happy hour turned into dinner! No complaints here. Toast some baguettes, chill a couple of bottles of Pinot Grigio, and invite some friends over. It’s about to get cheesy.
Asiago and Thyme Dip with Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 6 as an appetizer
You will need:
- 1 large Vidalia onion or other sweet yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
- Dash salt and pepper
- 2 Portobello mushrooms, washed, gills removed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. dried parsley (or 2 tbsp. fresh)
- 1 cup grated authentic Asiago PDO
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Saute the onion in a large skillet on medium heat with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes, until skillet is fragrant.
- Add sliced mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce and cook for an additional ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once mushrooms are cooked, add spinach first, then remaining ingredients. Leave heat on just until spinach is melted. Stir a few times to make sure that the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Transfer the dip to a 9×9 oven-proof baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 30 minutes, until dip is bubbly.
- Serve hot with toasted baguette
You can find authentic Asiago Cheese PDO from Italy at these retailers:
Harris Teeter (Mid Atlantic and South East)
Whole Foods Market
Bristol Farms (California)
Central Market (Texas)
Delis and Gourmet Food Stores
Vince and Joe’s Gourmet Market (Michigan)
Dolce Vita Italian Grocer (Phoenix, AZ)
Di Bruno Bros (Philadelphia, PA)
Murray’s Cheese (New York)
Ceriello Fine Foods (New York and Baltimore, MD areas)
Agata & Valentina (New York)
Hometown Provisions (Lancaster, PA)
Di Bruno Bros