Carrots with Taleggio Cheese

November 14, 2012

Carrots with Taleggio Cheese

How do I describe these carrots? Savory. Cheesy. Souffle-like speckled with bits of orange. My months-long obsession with this picture didn’t set me up only to let me down. This recipe is one that exceeded my expectations and brought a hush over the Thanksgiving dinner table as everyone dug in.

Let’s back up a moment. What is taleggio cheese? It’s an Italian cheese made from cow’s milk that is soft. While its rind looks and smells a bit funky, the inside yields a mild-yet-still-full flavor. The fat content, at 48%, tells you how happy this is going to make your taste buds. Those Northern Italians know what they’re doing.

The recipe is quite simple, though the fact that you will need to chop a lot of carrots and cook them two ways adds on a bit of time. If you’re making these for Thanksgiving (they also make a great steak-dinner side), I would suggest prepping the night before by at least slicing the carrots and grating the cheese.

Carrots with Taleggio Cheese
Adapted slightly from Vegetables from an Italian Garden
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
2 pounds carrots, cut on the bias into 1/2 inch slices
6 ounces taleggio cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Salt, pepper, and butter for greasing pan

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Heat the oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the shallot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add the carrots, increasing the heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Cut the taleggio into small chunks, and mash in a bowl until creamy (if it’s cold in your house, it might not get too creamy – just make sure you have small chunks of the cheese). Add the eggs, milk, and parmesan to the bowl, and beat together until combined.

Transfer the carrots to the buttered dish, spreading them out in an even layer. Pour the taleggio mixture over the carrots, and bake for 20 minutes, until the taleggio cream is puffed up and turning golden. Keep warm until ready to serve. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

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