How to make extra virgin olive oil cured cheese
Extra virgin olive oil cured cheese, also known as oil-cured cheese, is a popular delicacy that provides a delicious and unique flavor. This cheese is made by soaking the cheese in extra-virgin olive oil, which enhances the taste and texture of the cheese, making it a perfect addition to salads, pizzas, or as a standalone snack. Making extra virgin olive oil cured cheese is a relatively easy process that requires only a few simple ingredients but yields a complex flavor and texture.
To make extra virgin olive oil cured cheese, you will need:
– 1 block of hard cheese.
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Herbs, spices, or other flavorings (optional)
Instructions to prepare your cheese
1. Choose your cheese:
You can use any hard cheese to make oil-cured cheese, but Parmesan and Pecorino Romano are popular choices. Both cheeses have a hard texture, which makes them ideal for slicing and soaking in oil. Select a block of cheese that is fresh and well-ripened.
2. Slice the cheese:
Slice the cheese into thin, even slices. The thickness of the cheese will determine how long it takes to cure. The thinner the cheese, the faster it will cure.
3. Layer the cheese in a jar:
Layer the cheese slices in a jar, alternating each slice with a small amount of olive oil. Continue layering until you have filled the jar. You can add additional flavorings, such as herbs, garlic, or chili flakes, to the oil if you like.
4. Seal the jar:
Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Allow the cheese to cure for several days or even weeks. The longer the cheese cures, the more flavorful it becomes.
5. Serve and enjoy:
Once the cheese has cured, it is ready to serve. Remove the cheese slices from the jar and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess oil. You can serve the cheese slices on their own, as part of an antipasti platter, or as a topping for salads, pizzas, and other dishes.
Tips and tricks for the best oil-cured cheese
The quality of the olive oil you use is crucial to the flavor of the cheese. Choose a high-quality extra virgin olive oil with a mild, fruity flavor. Avoid using cheap or low-quality oil, as it can affect the taste of the cheese.
2. Experiment with flavors:
You can add additional flavorings to the oil, such as herbs, spices, or garlic, to enhance the flavor of the cheese. Experiment with different flavor combinations to find your favorite.
3. Keep the cheese at room temperature:
Once the cheese has been sliced and soaked in oil, it should be kept at room temperature to allow it to cure. Do not refrigerate the cheese, as this can affect the texture and flavor.
4. Don’t be afraid to let it cure longer:
The longer the cheese cures in the oil, the more flavorful and complex it becomes. Don’t be afraid to let the cheese cure for several weeks, if you have the patience.
In conclusion, making extra virgin olive oil cured cheese is a simple process that yields a delicious and unique flavor. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of patience, you can create a tasty and versatile cheese that will elevate any dish. So, go ahead and give it a try!