Tiss the Season – Marinated Manchego Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers

Are you planning a holiday party?  Perhaps you are going to a party and need to bring something….this recipe is quick, easy and very very tasty…if you can’t find the Sherry Vinegar, substitute white wine instead….Fresh Market is a good resource….I love the holiday colors in this one….hope you enjoy it as much as my guests have!

Marinated Manchego Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers – Serves 4

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 green onions, very thinly sliced

½ shallot, finely minced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds, lightly toasted*

1 bay leaf 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ pound manchego cheese, thinly sliced (mandolin works best)

1 medium roasted red pepper chopped**

2-3 tablespoons manzanilla olives, coarsely chopped

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, green onions, shallots, garlic and cumin seeds; season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the bay leaf and set aside until needed.

Arrange the cheese slices in an attractive serving dish; top with the roasted peppers and chopped olives.  Pour the marinade over the peppers, cover and refrigerator overnight, or up to four days before serving.

Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour before serving.  (Remove the bay leaf)  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley (optional).

*To toast the cumin seeds, heat a small sauté pan over medium heat; add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until the aroma is released and the seeds just begin to brown.

**To roast the pepper, char the pepper over a gas flame on the stove or a broiler, turning to ensure the skin blisters evenly.  Place the roasted red pepper in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool.  Peel the dark skin and remove the seeds, do not rinse under water.  

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