Loosely applied, “pecorino” can refer to any cheese made with sheep’s milk, and many of Italy’s localities produce and consume their own versions. This semi-hard cheese has a complex nutty and salty flavor and crumbly texture with a pleasantly pungent aroma. Originating primarily from Tuscany and a few select areas in Umbria and Lazio, it’s produced with whole milk from sheep fed a diet of grass and hay. This hard variety of Pecorino is aged for a minimum of four months.
Most commonly used as a finishing for everything from pasta, potatoes, breads, soup, salad or sauteed greens, Pecorino Toscano is an excellent table cheese. On a platter pair with Italian cured meats like Bresaola matched with briny olives or a drizzle of olive oil. It also works nicely with honey and fruit preserves with apple or pear slices.
Swiss Chard, Pancetta and Pecorino Quiche
1 Package Premade Pie Crust
2 ounces pancetta, diced
2 - 3 Bunches swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 cup coarsely grated Pecorino Romano
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a pie plate with the piecrust. Weigh down and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a large skillet cook pancetta over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and it crisps up - about 5 minutes. Add the chard and season with salt, pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the chard is wilted and the pan is dry, 5 to 8 minutes longer. The chard will reduce dramatically upon cooking.
3. Scatter the chard and pancetta over the crust. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, crème fraîche, and Pecorino. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture over chard and and return to the oven until quiche is barely set about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Source: seriouseats.com