Jazz up a charcuterie board with this Manchego Marinated in Olive Oil & Herbs.
For many years, I didn’t like cheese. No grilled cheese or mac and cheese for me. I was the weirdo kid who ate plain noodles, no sauce or cheese. I was the weirdo who took the cheese off her pizza and ate just the dough and the sauce.
Over the years, my tastes changed and while I’m still picky about which cheeses I like, I’ve come to really enjoy them. Some of my favorites are warm, baked cheeses like a baked brie (cranberry orange! pecan, brown sugar and kahlua! with fig jam and wrapped in puff pastry!) or baked fontina. But really, I love a good brie any time, baked or not. I also adore a herbed goat cheese and can eat the log in a sitting if I’m not careful. And then there was the manchego phase…. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed manchego until recently..
What is Manchego?
Manchego a semi-hard Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk. Grated, it melts well, making it a more unique option for grilled cheeses and baked pasta dishes. Manchego is a milder cheese that is delicious on its own with a cracker or piece of bread, but can also be marinated in olive oil and herbs, as it is here.
Recipe Notes for Manchego Marinated in Olive Oil & Herbs:
- Eat cheese within 3 days.
- Seasoned olive oil can be kept for up to 10 days for sautéing and cooking, or as a dip for bread (consider this a good excuse to make homemade ciabatta bread. You’re welcome.)
Manchego Marinated in Olive Oil & Herbs
- 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil; more if needed
- 3 large sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary about 4-inches long
- 1 small dried red chile cut in half or thirds*
- 8 oz. manchego cheese more aged is better, rind cut off, cut into 1/2- 3/4-inch cubes
Combine olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and chile in a small saucepan over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmery, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Put manchego in another bowl. Pour olive oil mixture on top. (If necessary, add more oil to cover.) Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
A few hours before serving, remove dish from fridge and allow the cheese and olive oil to come to room temperature.
To serve, transfer everything to a pretty bowl, with toothpicks alongside for spearing the cheese.
Substitution: Substitute 1 tsp. red pepper flakes if you cannot find a dried red chile.
This recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking No. 81 (p. 78).
This post was updated in May 2021 with new photos and a recipe card for improved reader experience. The recipe remains unchanged.