I have always loved cheese.
And not just because I’m a humongous ham.
That’s it for the food puns, I promise.
When Whole Foods approached me and asked me to participate in a campaign involving Parmesan cheese and childhood memories, I was all over it.
I mean, Parmesan cheese has been with me through many important phases of my life:
-As a young child, when I would bury my buttered, overcooked linguine noodles in Lawry’s seaoning salt and Parmesan cheese from a green can. The effect was slippery, salty, and very rich – clearly, I loved umami flavors even as a kid.
-As a pre-adolescent, when I would beg my mom to take me out of gym class so I could go home and watch classic movies with her while eating Progresso Pasta e Fagioli soup. I would sprinkle that same dusty green can over the top of the soup while it was boiling hot, so the cheese absorbed the liquid’s color and formed a semi-solid sheath over the top.
-As a pubescent teenager, all big bangs and buck teeth. By that time, Bristol Farms had opened near my small hometown, and I had tried real Parmesan cheese. Whoa. Incredible when grated into spaghetti carbonara. It was nutty and rich and SO unlike that shelf stable stuff.
-As a young adult, when I would spend hours making sauce from scratch on the weekends, tossing in the rind of a Parmesan cheese wedge to give the sauce such deep flavor.
-And as a less young adult, when I eat int in chunks, dipped into truffle honey.
I just love Parmesan cheese.
And you are going to love it in this salad. It is light but satisfying, full of flavor, and once you have the prep work done, it comes together in 10 minutes.
And, of course, it’s Parmigiano-riffic.
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, sliced thinly with a knife or mandolin or in the food processor
3 tbsp. plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup Parmesan cheese
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp. mustard
Add the Parmesan cheese to the dressing and stir. The dressing will turn very thick and pale cream in color. Don’t taste it now – or do, but don’t be surprised if the state is very acidic, bordering on bitter. The oil from the sauteed sprouts mellows that.
See why this is so tasty? The sprouts are warm and soft, with crunchy, caramelized edges. The dressing is absorbed into the sprouts, leaving them citrusy, savory, and saturated with that salty, nutty Parmesan flavor. This is ideal as is, no need to add a chicken paillard or slab of poached salmon, though you certainly could, and to great effect.
Guess that;’s why I’ve always loved it.
*Disclaimer: I was compensated for participating in this campaign. The recipe is original.*