A friend recently wrote of her biking excursions through Aviano ~ instead of feeling jealous, I was so happy that she has embraced the lifestyle of this amazing country. I closed my eyes and imagined a jaunt down Viale S Giorgio, to the Tuesday market for cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, fragrant flowers (roses, 3 euro per 20!)… watching in amazement, as the 83 year old woman from the same village, rode past me with her baskets filled with market treasures! Hmmm ~ the smells, smiles and occasional whistle. Would I serve the Pecorino tonight, sliced in thin ribbons with the grilled peaches, topped off with a drizzle of Pietro’s honey? Or a tallegio filled zucchini ribbon with the sweet salty hint of prosciutto hidden inside?
Frico Con Polenta e Funghi
(Fried cheese with polenta & mushrooms)
- 500 g potato, cubed
- 150 g Montasio cheese
- 2 shallot, thinly sliced
- 50 g butter
Saute shallots in butter. Boil cubed potatoes in salted water; when tender, drain and add to the pan with shallots, crushing with fork; turn heat up to medium, add in cheese, cook until cheese starts to melt and crust begins to form; turn to assure a crust on all sides.
- 200 g cremini mushroom, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
- fresh oregano, to taste
- olive oil
- stick butter
Place olive oil in a large skillet; melt the butter. Add in the garlic, cooking over low flame to keep from scorching; add in sliced mushrooms, oregano, red pepper and salt. Turn heat to medium low; cooking until mushrooms have lost most of their water, about 15-20 minutes.
- 1/2 liter milk
- 1/2 liter water
- 250 g polenta flour
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 50 cl olive oil
- salt to taste
Bring milk and water to boil with salt, garlic and rosemary. Remove garlic and rosemary, whisk in polenta flour; cook over low heat until thickened. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
To serve dish: Arrange polenta in the center of the plate; spoon a section of frico, placing it off-center of the polenta; spoon the mushrooms over top or on the side. Great with grilled sausage as well. This is truly an Italian comfort dish!
For information on Montasio: