Pecorino and Rosemary Popcorn
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Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Pecorino and Rosemary Popcorn

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 to 7 cups
The olive oil is a dominant flavor here, so use good-quality oil. How can rosemary be so close to perfection and yet hint at cough syrup at the same time? The trick to excluding the medicinal flavor is to not use the stems, and to not cook rosemary for too long in general. You could substitute fried sage or thyme here, too. Any hearty herb would do. Don't buy aged cheese. A nice salty pecorino or even Parmigiano-Reggiano is great.



  1. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, gently warm 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the rosemary and gently pan-fry it until the "needles" turn light brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the rosemary. Stem the rosemary, dropping the needles onto a paper towel. Discard the stems.  
  3. In a large pot fitted with a lid, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Turn the heat to medium. Add the popcorn kernels, then cover and cook, shaking the pot every 30 seconds, until the popcorn is popped, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the popcorn in a single layer on the sheet tray. Season to taste with salt. Grate the pecorino all over the popcorn. Sprinkle on the fried rosemary needles. (For a more intense rosemary flavor, you can also drizzle on some of the oil the rosemary was fried in.) Toss and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with more grated pecorino.