Cheeses that stand alone

[caption id="attachment_370" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Formaggio Kitchen, Cambridge, Mass."][/caption] Few foods so directly conjure up their origins as artisanal cheeses. Walking into Formaggio Kitchen in our home town is like taking a trip around the world. This is where we went for the Cabrales to serve with apples, and FK is our go-to vendor whenever we need something really special. Ishan Gurdal first opened a cheese monger’s shop here more than 30 years ago and built his own ripening caves in 1996. His cheeses are so special and so perfectly cared for that even Thomas Keller of the French Laundry orders from Ishan. Formaggio Kitchen has a second location in Boston’s South End, and also sells through its web site: Formaggio Kitchen.

Making grilled asparagus risotto

[caption id="attachment_327" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Grilled asparagus risotto"][/caption] Before we bought a pressure cooker, asparagus risotto was one of the few risottos we would bother to make because it’s smoky, luscious, and deeply satisfying. It also pairs nicely with a crisp white wine like a Vermentino from Sardinia. It had become one of our go-to quick dishes, in part because every time we light up the backyard grill, we grill some asparagus, making sure we have enough for dinner and enough left over to chop into salads and to make grilled asparagus risotto. This 2-serving recipe evolved rather radically from the version of non-roasted, non-pressure-cooked asparagus risotto made by Fanny Singer that we found in a 2003 issue of Food & Wine. Cooking time is about...Read More