In Spain, just about anything can be marinated in olive oil and stored in the fridge for another day. Spanish cheese is no exception. Spain is famous for its variety of goat, sheep and cow cheeses, and one of the best ways to enjoy them are jarred in excellent quality extra virgin olive oil with herbs.
This method of preservation was mainly used by families who had a flock of sheep or herd of goats. They needed a way to make the cheese they produced last longer, and this was the perfect solution.
This goat cheese marinated in olive oil recipe is especially typical of southern Spain, and is soaked olive oil, herbs and spices, and then stored in the refrigerator so that the flavors of the garlic, thyme and rosemary become infused into the oil. This is a great tapa to keep in your refrigerator for those last-minute get-togethers. Serve the cheese with baguette slices on a plate with infused oil.
- 8-12 oz cheese (soft goat or sheep’s milk)
- 1 tsp thyme (dry, or 2 sprigs fresh)
- 1 tsp rosemary (dry, or 2 sprigs fresh)
- 3-4 cloves garlic (large)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 8-12 oz olive oil (extra virgin)
Note - Use soft or semi-cured goat's milk cheese (queso de cabra) for this marinated cheese in olive oil recipe. Note, this is not the chevre style goat cheese. If it is difficult to find a goat cheese in this style, try a sheep’s milk cheese from La Mancha (Manchego). If you aren’t able to buy these kinds of Spanish cheeses, you may substitute Greek Feta cheese. Most importantly, the cheese you select for this tapa should be soft, but this recipe is not suitable for a cheese that is spreadable like cream cheese.
- This goat cheese marinated in olive oil tapas recipe makes about 8 servings. It can be easily doubled or tripled if you buy more glass jars.
- Peel the garlic cloves, then mince. Place the garlic, thyme, rosemary and pepper into a large mouth glass jar that is clean and dry. Mason jars or pasta sauce jars work well. Pour half of the olive oil into the jar.
- Cut the cheese into 1-inch cubes and place them into jar. Pour the rest of the olive oil into the jar to cover the cheese.
- Cover the opening with a piece of waxed paper and rubber band before placing in the refrigerator, so it will breathe.
- Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours. Store for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.