In celebration of longer summer evenings, Grana Padano invited me to host an Italian aperitivo evening with my friends, where I served Grana Padano Riserva, Prosecco DOC from Italy and a recipe I created for this special occasion: Grana Padano cheese biscuits with garlic and paprika.
Grana Padano PDO
I have written about Grana Padano many times before on my blog as it’s my favourite hard cheese in the world! I grew up eating Grana Padano – in chunks on its own, in flakes over rocket salads, grated over pasta, or baked in savoury tarts.
What makes Grana Padano special? Its unique taste: fragrant yet delicate with notes of butter, hay and dried fruit.
Grana Padano is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, therefore it can only be produced in a particular area in Northern Italy (Pianura Padana, Po River Valley). That is how we can ensure the quality, authenticity and traceability of Grana Padano. It’s a cheese with great nutritional qualities: a high concentration of vitamins, proteins, minerals and calcium.
Grana Padano is sold in different stages of ageing. At 9 months, all Grana Padano wheels are examined and (if they pass the quality tests) they are fire-branded with a mark that guarantees the quality by the Grana Padano Protection Consortium’s experts.
Between 9-16 month, it has a delicate taste with a remarkable milky flavour. After 16 months, the cheese is ideal for grating; it is tasty but not too strong. The Grana Padano Riserva (my favourite!) is rich, full in flavour, yet never overpowering. It is superb both as a table and grated cheese and ideal for feasts and special occasions!
Grana Padano Cheese & Paprika Savoury Biscuits
For the aperitivo party I hosted in London a few days ago, I prepared a beautiful table spread featuring Grana Padano Riserva, homemade savoury biscuits, charcuterie, fruits and nuts. I paired the snacks with Prosecco DOC sparkling Brut; this is another favourite product of mine, one which truly represents Italian food and drinks excellence!
I decided to make Grana Padano Cheese & Paprika Biscuits, for two reasons: they are incredibly easy to make; they are very tasty and look beautiful, so I knew my friends would be impressed!
The method is similar to shortbread biscuits: once I created the dough, I shaped it into a long, round log (around 6cm in diameter) and refrigerated it for a few hours; then I sliced the log into biscuit slices (about 3mm thick) and baked them.
Makes around 24 biscuits.
- 250gr plain flour
- 180gr Grana Padano, grated
- 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorns
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 125gr cold butter, diced
- 3 tbsp cold milk
In a food processor, combine the flour and Grana Padano Riserva. Add the pepper, paprika and garlic. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the milk and process until the dough just begins to hold together.
Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a clean, damp surface. Shape into a log about 4cm in diameter. Wrap the dough with cling film. Refrigerate for about 3 hours, until very firm to the touch. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before slicing.
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with parchment paper.
Unwrap the dough and place it on a clean surface. Cut into slices about 3-mm thick and arrange on the oven trays. Bake, one sheet at a time, until golden, for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool down completely. Store the biscuits in airtight containers.
Disclaimer: this post was written in paid partnership with Grana Padano. All opinions are my own.