Grana Padano Polenta with Crispy Mushrooms


For the polenta

2    tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup polenta
4 ounces Grana Padano cheese, finely grated

2 teaspoons salt


For the mushrooms

½ cup olive oil, divided
1pound assorted mushrooms, sliced or halved

4 sprigs thyme
2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons finely diced chives, optional


To prepare polenta, in a medium saucepan, bring 4-1/2 cups water to a boil. Add butter and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover until polenta is tender, about 30 minutes. Whisk in grana padano; add salt.


To prepare mushrooms, heat half the oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add half the thyme, mushrooms and salt; cook, turning mushrooms occasionally, until crispy, 8-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil, mushrooms, thyme and salt.


To serve, spoon polenta into shallow bowls. Top with mushrooms and garnish with chives and additional cheese, if desired.


Makes 4 servings 

Grana Padano Roasted Carrot Tart


   1 (14-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
 1lb multi-colored carrots, halved lengthwise

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt, divided 8 oz ricotta
2oz grana cheese, finely grated

    1 garlic clove, grated
       Milk or cream, as needed depending on ricotta

       Dill sprigs, garnish


Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Using a paring knife, lightly score a border around the perimeter of the puff pastry about a 1/2-inch away from the edge. Place pastry on a lined baking sheet; with a fork prick inside border. Bake on top rack until puff pastry is lightly golden, 15-20 minutes. Use the fork to press the dough within the border so it's flat, leaving the border puffed.


Toss carrots and fennel with oil, season with ½ teaspoon of the salt; spread into a single layer on a baking sheet keeping the purple carrots separate to avoid coloring the others. Roast on bottom rack (underneath the puff pastry) until edges are golden brown but carrots are crisp-tender, 15- 20 minutes.


While puff pastry and carrots are in the oven, combine ricotta, grana and garlic. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.


Spread cheese mixture inside border of cooled pastry. If mixture is too thick to spread, thin out with milk or cream as needed. Arrange carrots in a single layer on top. Bake until veggies are tender and edges of pastry are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with dill. Cut into sixths or eighths. Serve with a side salad.


Makes 6-8 servings 

Cauliflower with Grana Padano Gremolata 


  1 small head cauliflower, sliced 1-inch-thick

  2 tablespoons olive oil
     Salt and pepper, to taste
  1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

  ½ cup grated Grana Padano cheese
  1 garlic clove
 2 lemons


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Move rack to bottom third of oven.

Gently brush cauliflower with oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Roast 16 minutes, turning halfway through.

Meanwhile, prepare gremolata. Place parsley on cutting board. With microplane, grate cheese, garlic and lemon zest over parsley. Finely chop mixture and stir to combine.

Remove cauliflower from oven. Spoon gremolata over cauliflower. Return to oven and roast another 5 minutes. Remove to a plate. Season with lemon juice and additional cheese, if desired.


Makes 4 servings 

Kale Salad with Grana Padano, Vinaigrette & Almond Crumble 


For the vinaigrette:
  ¼ cup tightly packed finely grated
      Grana Padano cheese

   2 tablespoons lemon juice
  ½ tablespoon dijon mustard

  ¼ teaspoon salt
  1 garlic clove, grated

  ¼ cup grapeseed oil


For the almond crumble:
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup breads crumbs
¼ cup roasted almonds, chopped
¼ cup finely grated grana cheese

    Salt, to taste

For the salad:

 1 bunch kale, stripped and chopped
    (about 4 cups)
 2 cups chopped radicchio

    Pepper, to taste


Make the vinaigrette:

In food processor, combine cheese, lemon juice, mustard, salt and garlic. Whirl until smooth.


While blending, slowly stream in oil until smooth and incorporated. Refrigerate.

Make the almond crumble:

In small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bread crumbs; cook and stir until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.


Add almonds and cheese; stir until cheese has melted and breadcrumbs begin to cluster. Season with salt. Set aside to cool.


Make the salad:

In large bowl, combine kale, radicchio and grana vinaigrette. Massage dressing into greens until well coated. Mix in half of almond crumble.


Remove greens to platter. Garnish with remaining crumble and freshly cracked pepper.


Makes 4 servings 

Grana Padano, Apple & Fennel Salad

This light and refreshing apple and fennel salad topped with Grana Padano is from Canadian Chef Victor Barry.


For the salad:
  2 heads of fennel
  1 Granny smith apple
  ½ cup of ground
      Grana Padano 
  ¼ bunch of chopped chives
   1 cup of fennel tops
      (just the greens)
   1 piece of lemon, zested

For the lemon thyme dressing: 
  ½ pieces of shallots (2 tbsp)
  ½ tbsp of honey 
   3 sprigs of thyme
   ½ cup of lemon juice
    1 tsp of Dijon mustard
    2 tbsp of white wine vinegar 
    1 piece of lemon zested 
    ¼ tbsp of ground black pepper
  1 ½ cup of olive oil 
       1 tsp of salt

For the candied sunflower seeds:
   1 cup of sunflower seeds
   1 tbsp of olive oil
   2 tbsp of honey 
  ¼ tsp of salt


Make the salad:

Shave the fennel with a mandolin or sliced as fine as possible. Cut the apple into 4 pieces and slice them all. Pick the tops of the fennel.


Make the salad dressing:

Macerate the shallots with thyme, salt, and black pepper for about 10 minutes. Split the recipe in two and blend everything together in a blender.


Make the candied sunflower seeds:

Preheat the oven to 325F. Mix everything together in a bowl. Pour everything on a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the seeds turn a golden-brown colour and be sure to mix the seeds a couple of times while baking for a more even colour.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When the seeds have completely cooled, break them up a bit leaving small chunks.

To plate:

Toss the fennel with some of the vinaigrette and sunflower seeds. Place in a bowl. Scatter the apples, fennel tops, and some more sunflower seeds. Zest a little lemon on top, sprinkle.


Makes 6 servings.


Grana Padano Soft Serve Ice Cream with 30 Year
Balsamic Vinegar

A perfect combination that provides a sweet, yet salty taste with a drizzle of 30-year-old balsamic vinegar from Canadian Chef Victor Barry.


 1 ½  cups of whipping cream 
  6 cups of whole fat milk 
 4 cans of condensed milk 
 2 tbsp of vanilla extract 
 1 cup of pasteurized egg yolk
 2 tbsp of glucose syrup 
 1 bottle of 30 year Balsamic 
 3 cups of grated Grana Padano


Combine all the ingredients, except for the cheese, together and blend using a hand blender.  Pour the mix into a pot and heat it up over medium high heat just until you see bubbles begin to come up. Make sure you stir it every few minutes, so the bottom doesn’t burn. Remove from heat. 


Pour the cheese in the base and blend with a hand blender. Pour in a container and leave to cool. Cover and leave in the fridge to cool off. 


Remove the base from the fridge and give it a quick stir. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and strain the base. Pour into ice cream machine and follow the machine's directions for soft serve. 


To plate: 
Extrude the ice cream into a waffle cone and drizzle with 30-year balsamic vinegar (the good stuff). 


Makes 6 servings. 


Aqurello Risotto “Cacio e Pepe” with Grana Padano

"Cacio e pepe" means "cheese and pepper."  This creamy, zesty risotto from Canadian Chef Victor Barry is sure to please your whole family.


For chicken stock:

1 whole chicken

8 litres of water

For three pepper brown butter:

3 tablespoons pink peppercorns

3 tablespoons white peppercorns

3 tablespoons black peppercorns

1 cup unsalted butter

For cooking:

2½ cups Aborio rice

1½ cups melted butter

   1 cup of finely diced shallots

      Salt to taste

   2 cups Grana Padano

    1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

    ¼ cup olive oil


Make the chicken stock:

Place the chicken in a pot with the water and boil for 45 minutes. Skim the top of the broth as it boils to remove any foam. Chef's note: Save the chicken meat to make chicken salad.


Make the three pepper brown butter:

Toast the peppercorns in a small pan. When they are cool, grind peppercorns all together in a spice grinder. Melt the 1 cup of unsalted butter in a pan. When the butter is fully melted and begins to froth, start whisking. Make sure the whisk touches the bottom of the pan to ensure the milk particles do not stick and burn. When you smell a nutty aroma and the milk particles in the butter have turned golden-brown, whisk in the three-pepper blend. Allow the milk particles and the pepper mix to settle at the bottom of the pot. Chef's note: Make the three-pepper brown butter before cooking the rice.

Make the risotto:

In a wide bottom pot, heat up olive oil and sweat out the shallots on medium heat. Pour the rice into the pot with the shallots. Toast the rice for about 10 minutes, stirring continuously so the rice does not change color. Pour in the 1½ cups of melted butter and give the mixture a good stir. Slowly add the chicken stock. Start with 3 cups of chicken stock and keep stirring so the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Gradually add all the stock as you continue stirring.


When all the stock is incorporated, add 1 tbsp of the three-pepper brown butter mix and the nutritional yeast. You should only just taste the heat from the pepper. Continue stirring and cooking until the risotto is al dente, smooth, shiny and slightly runny.


Mix in the Grana Padano. Allow the risotto to rest for 2 minutes in the pot. It should spread, but not leach out liquid around the edge of the rice.


For plating:

Pour 1½ cups of risotto onto a plate and give it a little shake to flatten it a bit. Skim a tablespoon the remaining 3-pepper brown butter just off the top of its pot and pour over the risotto.


Makes 6 servings.

Grana Padano Frico Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto di Parma

This flavorful take on grilled cheese from Canadian Chef Victor Barry features a delicious dipping sauce. 


For the sandwich:

 12 slices white sour dough bread 

   1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) 

  3 cups grated Grana Padano cheese

18 thin slices Prosciutto di Parma  

  1 large wheel Brie cheese (cut into slices) 

For the dipping sauce:

 ½ cup Heinz ketchup
 ½ cup butter
 ¼ cup chopped shallots
  2 tablespoons cracked fennel seeds

     Vegetable oil


Build a sandwich:

Bread, 3 slices of Prosciutto di Parma, ¼ cup of Grana Padano, 3 pieces of brie cheese, bread. 
Butter both sides. 


Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Cook the sandwich until the first side turns golden-brown, then remove the sandwich from the heat. 


Sprinkle another ¼ cup of Grana Padano into the frying pan, spreading it out into an even layer. 

Place the uncooked side of the sandwich in the pan on top of the cheese. Allow it to cook and caramelize until it it melts into a crisp wafer. 


Turn off the heat. Place a plate over the pan and flip the sandwich over.
Repeat for the next 5 sandwiches.


Make the dipping sauce:

To make brown butter, melt the butter in a pan. When the butter is fully melted and begins to froth, start whisking. Make sure the whisk touches the bottom of the pan to ensure the milk particles do not stick and burn. You are finished when you smell a nutty aroma and the milk particles in the butter have turned golden-brown. Allow the butter to cool slightly (around body temperature).


Chop the shallots finely and pour into a pot. Pour in enough just vegetable oil to cover. Leave to cook on low heat until the shallots are tender, then remove from heat and strain.


Toast the fennel seeds over medium to high heat in frying pan. They are done when you can smell their aroma. Take a heavy bottom pot and crush them over a cutting board to crack the seeds, or put them in a spice grinder for a couple of pulses. 


In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Serve with the sandwiches.


Makes 6 servings 

Minestrone Soup with Grana Padano

Using the Grana Padano rind in this minestrone soup adds an extra depth of flavor. Make it over the weekend and enjoy all week! This soup pairs perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich for the ultimate lunch or weeknight dinner. 


 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

 1 cup diced yellow onion

½ cup diced red onion

 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

 1 cup diced carrots

 1 cup diced celery

 1 cup diced fennel

 1 cup diced red potatoes

 1  cup diced zucchini

  2 cups kale, bottom stems removed

     Kosher salt and freshly ground

     black pepper, to taste

  4 cups vegetable stock

  1 Grana Padano cheese rind

  1 cup small pasta, cooked and drained

  1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed

     and drained

¾ cup Grana Padano cheese


In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add white and red onion and cook two minutes or until caramelized.


Add garlic and cook about one minute. Add carrots and celery; cook until slightly softened and translucent. Next, add fennel, potatoes, and zucchini, stirring after each addition. Meanwhile, chop the greens.


Add stock and cheese rind to the pot. Bring soup to a boil. Add chopped kale and season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.


Add the cooked pasta and cannellini beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Top each bowl of soup evenly with freshly grated Grana Padano cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.


Makes 6 servings 

Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms, Spinach
and Grana Padano


   Olive oil

1 loaf crusty, country-style white bread

   (apx. 1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes (10 cups)

 1 cup grated Grana Padano

 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

½ (5-ounce) container baby spinach, rinsed

½ pound button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

½ pound shitake mushroom, stems discarded,

    caps sliced


1½ cups finely chopped onions

1½ cups thinly sliced celery
  ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  ¼ cup chopped fresh chives 
3½ cups heavy whipping cream
  4 large eggs
1¼ teaspoons salt 
 ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
     Chopped parsley and grated

     Grana Padano for garnish


Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil a glass baking dish, sized 13 in. x 9 in. x 2 in.  In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, ¼ cup of Grana Padano, 2 tablespoons oil, thyme and garlic. Spread out onto a large baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes. Return toasted bread cubes to the large bowl.


Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring spinach and water to a boil. Cook, and drain thoroughly. Let cool for 5 minutes, then coarsely chop. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add mushrooms, onions and celery; sauté until the juices have evaporated. Add chopped spinach, sautéed vegetables, parsley and chives to the bread bowl.


In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs, salt and ground pepper. Fold into bread bowl mixture; transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup Grana Padano cheese on top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until set, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove foil and place the baking dish under the broiler just long enough to brown. Garnish with chopped parsley and more grated Grana Padano. 


Makes 8-10 servings 

Shaved Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Grana Padano

Genuine Grana Padano with shaved zucchini and asparagus take salad to a whole new level.


1 cup raw asparagus shavings (use vegetable peeler) 

¾ cup shaved Grana Padano, packed 

½ cup raw, green zucchini shavings  

    (use vegetable peeler)

½ cup finely chopped onions 

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

¼ cup fresh, flat leaf parsley leaves

¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small shallot, finely chopped  
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind 
¾ to 1 teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    Shaved Grana Padano for garnish 


In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together. Transfer to a platter and garnish with more shaved Grana Padano. 

Makes about 4 cups 





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