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YIELDS:

2 ½ Cups

PREP TIME:

0 hours 15 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 0 mins

TOTAL TIME:

4 hour 15 mins

ingredients

1/2 Lb. Parmesan cheese, in block form

1/2 Lb. Asiago cheese, a fresh wedge

2 Tsps. minced garlic

2 Tsp. dried oregano

1 Tsp. Calabrian chili pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. chopped green onion

1 1/2 Cups extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tsp. freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Remove any rind from the cheeses (save those rinds in the freezer to use when making soups, stocks and sauce). Chop the cheeses into 1-inch chunks. Place the cheese in a food processor with the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and pulse until reduced to the size of tiny peas.

2. Add the green onion, olive oil and black pepper and pulse again. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before using.

NOTE: This is NOT my recipe. Let me start by saying that right up front. I had the huge pleasure of dining at Bottega Restaurant in Napa Valley about 8 years ago and this was served at the beginning of the meal with warm, crusty Italian bread. That was it…I feel in love and immediately hunted down the recipe and started making this not only for my family but also as gifts for friends and coworkers. This has got to be one of the most delicious condiments I have ever had.

I have to stop right there because I’m not sure you can call this a condiment? It’s put on bread at the beginning of a meal much like you’d add butter or dip your bread in good olive oil. I’ve served it on crostini all by itself as an appetizer of toped with shrimp or vegetables. I’ve used it as a pasta sauce and as a salad dressing. Honestly, you could drink this straight up and just be a very happy girl. (Yes, it is that good).

You must use good quality cheese. Don’t be using that prepackaged cheese in a tub (it won’t work). Go to your cheese shop and buy the “good stuff” with the rinds on the cheese. Save those rinds in your freezer so when you are making sauce or soup, you can add a cheese rind for an extra punch of flavor.

This recipe makes a lot.  It holds great for about a week in the refrigerator but I have frozen it and it actually was fine.  I had read comments online that someone tried freezing it so I tried it and it worked.  I just brought it to room temperature and added a little more olive oil to loosen it up.  

While I don’t like playing with perfection, I have thrown in a handful of fresh basil and/or oregano when I have it and it is just fabulous. I added the use of a specific type of chili flakes (Italian Calabrian chili flakes) but you can use whatever chili flakes you have on hand. They just happen to be my chili flake of choice.

Get ready to fall in love with this. Stock up on your gift giving jars and cute wrapping (The holidays are right around the corner) and get ready for the most exciting thing to happen to your taste buds in years. Gift Jars

A shout out to Michael Chiarello the chef and owner of Bottega Restaurant. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.  I trust you don’t mind me continuing the art of passing around a great recipe.

 

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