Asiago Crisped Spinach and Raspberry Salad


*Note: You could probably sub freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the Asiago - haven't tried it but I think it would work just fine as long as you keep an eye on baking time so the cheese browns perfectly.

*Serves 4

For the salad:

9 ounce bag fresh baby spinach

1 pint fresh raspberries

Fresh parmesan for shaving

Raspberry vinaigrette, for serving

For the Asiago rounds:

2 cups shredded asiago cheese

For the Asiago rounds, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take 1/2 cup of shredded Asiago cheese and place it in a long strip, about 2-inches wide by 12-inches long, on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. I did two strips on each baking sheet. Bake the cheese for 9-11 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly. The Asiago cheese has a tendency to splatter and smoke a little, so don't be alarmed if that happens.

Immediately after removing the rimmed baking sheet from the oven, gently lift up the cheese strip and form it into a circle for the salad. Let the circle cool completely on the baking sheet or carefully transfer to a wire rack. The cheese cools very quickly so you'll need to work fast to bend the hot cheese into circles before it cools too much. The Asiago crisps can be made a day in advance, if kept well covered (especially in a humid climate). Take care to move them around gently as they are fragile.

When ready to serve, gently fill the Asiago cheese round with fresh spinach leaves. Sprinkle with raspberries. Using a vegetable peeler, shave pieces from the block of Parmesan and add those to the salad. Serve with raspberry vinaigrette.