So I decided that my final post before Christmas should be something savory. And more specifically, something with cheese. Because if we can’t have cookies, we can at least have cheese! Am I right?
Maybe we’ve been wrong about Santa this whole time and he would really prefer for us to leave him cheese!
This Easy Marinated Holiday Cheese feels kind of fancy. But it’s silly easy. All you have to do is cut up some of your favorite hard cheese(s), make a quick 5-minute marinade and then let all the flavors blend together for several hours or up to overnight.
For the marinade, I took some inspiration from my Champagne-Marinated Olives and Feta, but I changed up the flavor profile for a bit more of a Mediterranean focus. Here I used za’atar, a popular seasoning that is actually a blend of several herbs and spices, to deliver lots of flavor with a minimal set of ingredients. This marinade also has orange zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, a bay leaf, honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil and parsley.
For the cheese, I chose two of my favorites: sharp cheddar and Manchego. You could also try an aged Parmesan or Gruyère. You’ll want to stick with hard/firm cheeses that can withstand being tossed around.
I served this Easy Marinated Holiday Cheese with an assortment of my favorite crackers. But in hindsight, I think some crusty bread would be an even better idea (told you that I’ve had too many cookies!). The marinade is super delicious, and you’ll want something to soak it up with!
I know we’re getting VERY close to Christmas and you might have your menus all sorted out at this point. I get it! But this Easy Marinated Holiday Cheese would also be awesome for New Year’s Eve! I hope you get the chance to give it a try!
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces Manchego cheese
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3-4 strips orange peel (about 2-inches each)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. za’atar
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
- Cut the cheeses into cubes and add them to a bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, orange peel, garlic, bay leaf, za’atar and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. You want the marinade to be warm, but not so hot that the cheese melts.
- Pour the warm marinade over the cheese cubes and toss gently to coat. Cover your bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, tossing gently a few times during this time period if you are able.
- Remove the bowl from your refrigerator. Remove and discard the orange peel, garlic and bay leaf, if desired. Stir in the parsley.
- Transfer the cheese cubes to a serving plate or bowl, making sure to spoon some of the marinade over top. Serve with crackers or bread.