For a light spring meal, Kobe beef is the only choice. The challenge is finding the right combination of complimentary flavors that accent but not overpower the meat.
For appetizers, try asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. Use white asparagus, also called the “royal vegetable,” an apt consort for Kobe beef. White asparagus is less bitter but tender than other varieties, but must be peeled before grilling.
For the prosciutto, only use imported European Union Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) slices. The designation ensures that you have real prosciutto cured in the traditional way. The Parma ham, another name for prosciutto, will be sweet and tender, a perfect accent to the Kobe beef main course.
Wrap the as-thin-as-possible slices one at a time around the stalks of asparagus. Coat lightly with olive oil, lightly salt, and grill until slightly crispy. In this case, the type of olive oil doesn’t matter, since you’re simply grilling with it. The taste of the oil will be lost.
For a side dish, buy one pound of unshelled English peas (what you find shelled in cans). After shelling the peas, boil some lightly salted water, blanch the peas for one minute and then submerge in ice water to stop the cooking process. Add the peas to an arugula salad and toss with a light but slightly tangy vinaigrette. For a salty accent, top the salad with slices of PDO stagionato (aged) pecorino cheese which will have a buttery and nutty flavor. With this side, the Kobe beef stars as the main course with accented flavors from the salad.
After such a rich meal, a light fruit plate for dessert helps to ease digestion. Focus on hard fruits which are easier to plate and not messy. Add soft cheeses to the plate, preferably goat cheese which has a custardy yet light texture. Here we can look domestic. Many domestic goat cheese producers have cropped up and some may exist near you. Either way choose a cheese that is light and creamy to go with the hard fruit. The goal is a dessert that acts as a finish to the Kobe beef.
The perfect spring menu includes Kobe beef and other dishes that accent the buttery flavor and tender texture of the meat. These are suggestions, so go ahead and experiment when you grill your own Kobe beef.