Hello, everyone! Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to explore the world of Pecorino Romano with some information and recipes. During the San Francisco Fancy Food Show, I attended an event hosted by several Pecorino Romano producers who were visiting from Sardinia. There, I learned about the history of this iconic cheese, and tasted scrumptious kitchen creations by Chef Caroline Fey from The City Kitchen.
Did you know that Pecorino Romano has been made for over 2,000 years? Yes! This is a cheese that dates back to Roman times, when soldiers were given rations of it to accompany meals. Nowadays, it’s made in only three regions of Italy: Lazio (which includes the city of Rome), Grosseto (in Tuscany), and Sardinia. That saltiness that the cheese is famous for has very practical roots. In a time before refrigeration, the salt preserved the cheese for travel over long distances.
Chef Fey prepared some delicious recipes for the evening featuring Pecorino Romano. I thought I’d share one with you today!
Cavolo Nero & Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon pecorino Vinaigrette, Pomegranate Seeds, Shaved Pecorino, Pine Nuts
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
2 large bunches of cavolo nero (dino kale), about 2 lbs. total, center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced into very thin ribbons
1 ½ lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
1 pomegranate, seeded
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup shaved Pecorino Romano—use a vegetable peeler for the shavings
1 large garlic clove, grated or finely chopped
¼ cup finely diced shallot
1 teaspoon packed lemon zest—use Meyer lemons if available
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon vinegar
¼ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salad
½ teaspoon pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Let rest at room temperature.
Place the kale and Brussels sprouts in a large bowl with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat the greens. Let rest for five minutes.
PS: The show I’m singing in, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, opened in San Francisco last weekend with great success! I am so tuckered out from the weekend, but so grateful to be able to do the things I love most, surrounded by the people I love most. There is no more humbling, wondrous feeling. And there are more performances through February 22! Get ticket information here!