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Fried Pecorino with Stone-Fruit Salsa

When you heat aged pecorino in a fry pan, it crisps, rather than melts. These crunchy wafers are delicate and delicious, and their saltiness is perfectly enhanced by a refreshing, chili-flecked summer-fruit salsa. Vary the cheese if you’d like; Parmigiano-Reggiano and halloumi are excellent choices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 peach, halved, pitted and finely chopped
  • 2 nectarines, halved, pitted and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. pecorino cheese, cut into slices about 1/8 inch thick

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the peach, nectarines, red onion and red pepper flakes. Add the lime juice and the 1/4 tsp. salt and toss gently with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, if needed. Set the salsa aside.

Heat a dry nonstick fry pan over medium heat. When it is hot, reduce the heat to low. Place the cheese slices in the pan, being careful not to crowd them. When the edges of a slice are golden, flip it and cook until golden on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a platter.

Serve the fried cheese slices immediately, topped with the salsa. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2010).