“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Friday, June 28, 2013

Roasted Asparagus with Taleggio Goat Cheese "Mousse"

Ciao a tutti! Around a month back, I had the pleasure of taking a class at DeGustibus Cooking School by Melissa Muller Daka. Some of may remember my interview with Melissa some months back. She is the chef and proprietor of Eolo and she recently opened another restaurant, Pastai. The class was wonderful, we were served 5 courses, each paired with a different wine. She also demonstrated how each dish was made and shared some wonderful stories. The food was absolutely incredible; one dish that really stayed in my memory was a Spring Vegetable Salad Tower with roasted beets, taleggio, grilled asparagus and spring onions, drizzled with pistachio pesto.  I could not believe how something that sounded so simple tasted so amazing, I mean, this was really one of the best dishes I've ever tasted. 

So, the other day at the green market, the asparagus looked so beautiful, I was tempted to try to recreate it. The only thing I did differently was omit the beets, because I served this with my beet gnocchi, so I think it would have been beet overkill. To replace the beets, I just added some beautiful fresh baby tomatoes. The asparagus have such a wonderful crisp and the cheese is just delicious. It's a combination of taleggio, goat cheese, spring onions and some seasoning. Since taleggio is a little strong for some, the goat cheese works perfectly and balances very well. Enjoy!! 

Spring Salad

The Asparagus and Tomato

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound of asparagus, cut and cleaned
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper

Baby tomatoes- as many as you would like
Salt and pepper (quanto basta)

Prepare a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add your asparagus and season with the salt and pepper. Cook for around 5-7 minutes, you want the asparagus to stay crispy. Turn off the heat. 

The Taleggio Goat Cheese "Mousse"

1/2 cup of goat cheese
1/2 cup of taleggio
2 tbsp. fresh spring onions
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. mixed Italian seasonings

In a food processor, add the goat cheese, taleggio, spring onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and Italian seasonings. Process until very smooth and creamy. 

To serve the salad, place a spoonful of the cheese "mousse" on your plate and serve with some of the roasted asparagus and a few baby tomatoes, sliced. Sprinkle the entire plate with a little extra salt and pepper. Buon Appetito! 

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