This is a very civilized way to serve cheese to your guests. I make it up in advance and leave it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. It is wonderful paired with our new Sauvignon Blanc or our red blend Telos.
- 8 ounces Manchego cheese, in 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 sprigs of thyme, strip leaves off and chop
- 2 springs of rosemary, strip leaves off and chop
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk together the oil and herbs, and then pour over the cheese. Cover and allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Warm to room temperature before serving.
A Note on the Cheese –
The vast majority of Manchego that we find in the supermarkets comes from industrial plants that use pasteurized milk. Not so the Manchego that we order from our friends at Tomales Bay Foods. Our favorite is made by the hands of Ma Dolores Palomares Pasamontes, who is fighting an uphill battle to preserve an ancient cheese making tradition against EU regulations and modern cost pressures that mitigate against quality. Pasamontes Manchego has been made in the same location since 1876 in the plains of Castilla La Mancha, south of Madrid. The milk for her cheese is collected from five flocks of sheep that graze on natural pasture. The resulting cheese offers a bright acidity with savory undertones of earth and grass. As it ages, its paste assumes a deeper yellow color, and a crumbly, but never waxy, texture. The exterior of the cheese is pressed with a requisite basket pattern and then washed by hand to allow the cheese to breathe and develop a natural rind as it ages. Pasamontes Manchego is difficult to come by, but when you taste the complexity of flavors of these wheels you will understand why it is worth seeking out.