I created this 3 Cheese Salsa by playing around with a recipe that was in one of Michael Chairello’s cookbooks. I have tried various versions of his recipe over the past few years. I love playing with food like this. There is something really relaxing about taking a recipe and recreating it! Sounds crazy I know. But it is really freeing. Most chefs if they use a recipe at all use it as a “guide” only. We all have different concepts of what taste great, works together in terms of flavors and cooking techniques.
3 Cheese Salsa
5 oz of shredded 3 cheese italian blend (Assiago, Fontina, and Parmesan)
1/2 tsp red chili pepper ﬂakes
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried chives
Garnish (optional): rosemary or basil sprig
In a medium mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. There should just be enough olive oil in this mixture to lightly coat the cheese.
Chill for an hour. Garnish and serve with either crackers or grilled/toasted french or italian bread as an appetizer.
I have tried making this dish with so many different cheeses. That is what is so fun. Each variation had a different flavor. Some were mild, and some were more pungent. This particular version is one of my favorites. It is both a little nutty and salty from the parmesan and has a nice sweeter flavor from the fontina cheese.
You can make this salsa with one cheese only if you want! Most semi-hard and hard style cheeses will give you great results
There are lots and lots of uses for this salsa. I like it on warm pasta, baked potatoes, used as an appetizer with crackers or grilled bread, put on salads, and as a stuffing for chicken with the addition of goat cheese and a topping for burgers! You have to admit that is a pretty versatile list of uses!
Some of the cheese combinations I have used that I thought worked well together are as follows:
Parmesan – Assiago – Fontina
Parmesan- Aged Manchego – Mozzarella
Smoked Mozzarella – Parmesan
If you try some other combination I’d love to hear about how it worked for you!