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Cupid's Favorite Cheese – Paradiso

posted on February 11th, 2016 by Carl Smith

paradiso1Our top cheese pick for Valentine’s Day is Paradiso! And it’s not just because of the label donned with Cupid and his bow – Paradiso is creamy and sweet and is (in our opinion) the perfect cheese to share with a loved one. It is an Italian-style cheese, made from rich, North Holland cow’s milk. When the wheel is first cut open, the aroma is sweetly enticing. Upon first bite, Paradiso is quite reminiscent of an Aged Gouda but with a lingering Parmesan-y note. The texture is firm with crystallization throughout and has tangy, savory, zesty notes. So divine!

Paradiso can be used anywhere you’d reach for Parmesan. Shave and melt atop baked pasta or Chicken Parmesan; layer onto a submarine sandwich with ham, salami, & turkey; or grate over spinach sauteed with garlic.

Paradiso is perfectly paired with a nice Italian Chianti and Primitivo, or can even be nicely paired with Italian white wines. If you are more of a beer lover, pale ales will highlight the complexity in the cheese.

Here is a great recipe for pasta salad using Paradiso adapted by Beemster – to be considered for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

paradiso2

Pasta Salad with Paradiso, Chicken, and Arugula

Dressing:

  1. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced
  4. 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  5. Salt, to taste
  6. Ground black pepper, to taste

Salad:

  1. 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  2. ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  3. 8 ounces penne pasta, cooked and drained
  4. 1 5-ounce package arugula
  5. 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  6. 6 ounces Paradiso, thinly shaved

Dressing Method:

  1. Combine the lemon juice, mustard, and garlic in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.

Salad Method:

  1. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken strips and cook through, about 8 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  2. Wipe out skillet and add the hazelnuts. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring frequently.

To Assemble:

  1. Toss the pasta with the chicken, toasted hazelnuts, arugula, tomatoes, and half of the Paradiso cheese. Pour dressing over pasta and toss until evenly coated. Top with remaining Paradiso cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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