Taleggio—a fruity, tangy semisoft cow’s milk cheese from the Val Taleggio region of Italy—is no stranger to the cheese plate. And while the washed rind certainly makes a statement on its own, we’re here to convince you to use it in the kitchen, too. In the recipes ahead, we press Taleggio into panini, melt it into polenta and atop pasta, slice it for a hearty salad, and more. The bold yet approachable flavor of the cheese makes any dish it’s used in a standout—perfect for holiday entertaining.
1. Taleggio and Apricot Jam Panini
No need to fret if you don’t own a panini press—two medium-size skillets will do just fine. Serve this tasty sandwich with a side salad to round out the meal.
2. Arugula and Radicchio Salad with Taleggio and Toasted Walnuts
Toasted walnuts pair nicely with slightly fruity taleggio. Drop a poached egg on top if you’re feeling fancy.
3. Penne with Peas, Italian Sausage, and Taleggio Sauce
A Taleggio and parmesan cheese sauce takes this baked pasta dish to another level. Feel free to substitute your favorite frozen vegetable for the green peas (no need to defrost) prior to baking.
4. Taleggio Polenta with Mushrooms and Bacon
This dish comes together quickly thanks to instant polenta. Cooking the bacon in the oven ahead of time is an extra time-saver.
5. Taleggio and Swiss Chard Omelette
Swiss chard is a hearty winter substitute for spinach in this brunch classic. The Taleggio melts just slightly while the eggs cook, which is as delicious as it sounds.