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Pressed Manchego Cheese Sammies and Spicy Spanish Salad

May 2007
Pressed Manchego Cheese Sammies and Spicy Spanish Salad

by 2 people

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Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 20 mins

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and grated
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (eyeball it)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • A few dashes hot pepper sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped or torn
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pitted green olives, coarsely chopped (a generous handful)
  • Flat-leaf parsley, chopped (a generous handful)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 8 slices  crusty white bread
  • 3/4 pound manchego cheese, sliced
  • 2 piquillo peppers or 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the garlic, vinegar, mustard and hot sauce; season with pepper. Pour in 1/3 cup EVOO in a slow stream, and whisk. Add the lettuce and onion and toss to coat; season with salt to taste. Top the salad with the olives, parsley, almonds and capers.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. While the oil heats, make 4 sammies of bread, manchego cheese and piquillo peppers. Add to the skillet and cook, pressing down with a skillet weighted with cans, until deeply golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is golden and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Halve the sammies and serve with generous helpings of the spicy Spanish salad.
  • Scharffenberger Brut NV (California)