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Good Cheeses for Shaving

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The Raw Artichoke, Portobello, and Fennel Salad gets finished with shaved Grana Padano, an Italian grating cheese similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano.Why shave the Grana and not grate it? By shaving it, the paper-thin slices of subtle, slightly sweet cheese practically melt in your mouth, offering a wonderful contrast to the crisp fennel, mushroom, and artichoke.

To shave cheese, simply run a vegetable peeler along one of its flat sides. A cool room temperature is best for shaving as very cold might be too crumbly. You can also use the slicing blade of a box grater or a cheese planer for shaving.

Both Grana and nutty, buttery Parmigiano are excellent choices when you want to shave cheese, but the cheeses below are also good candidates, too.

Aged Gouda: Caramelly and nutty, this cheese adds flavor as well as color. It’s unexpected and lovely on salads made with tender greens like Bibb lettuce.

Gruyère: Nutty, complex, yet mellow, shaved Gruyère is great with asparagus.

Manchego: This pale Spanish cheese has a full, slightly salty flavor and pairs especially well with sweet ingredients like roasted peppers.

Mimolette: This French cheese has a bright orange interior and an exterior reminiscent of a cantaloupe. It’s got a slightly floral aroma and a caramelized flavor, and it’s a great melter.

Pecorino: When you want a more piquant punch, look to this sharp Italian sheep’s milk cheese. Try some over risotto.

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