Early Summer Panzanella with Marinated Manchego
Elevate your cheese course with these summer flavors and impressive presentation. The creamy, slightly salty Manchego, accentuated by the heirloom tomato, pairs perfectly with the lively acid and crispness of Jordan Chardonnay.
Pair with: Jordan Chardonnay
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Begin by preparing the tomato powder. Cut 10 tomatoes in half and dehydrate cut side up in a food dehydrator or on a sheet pan in an oven set to 200 degrees until completely dry, up to two days. Grind dried tomatoes in a spice mill or food processor until they are a fine powder. The finished tomato powder may be prepared and stored for up to a week prior to use.
Next, prepare the marinated Manchego. Slice cheese ⅛-inch thick. In a nonreactive bowl, combine sliced Manchego with Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon zest, cracked black pepper, thyme and bay leaves.Gently toss. Cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for eight hours or refrigerate for up to three days.
Prepare an ice bath then blanch remaining tomatoes in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Immediately shock the tomatoes in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. When cool to the touch, peel and cut in half.
Half an hour prior to serving, toss croutons with 1 tablespoon of Greek basil leaves and tomatoes in the Champagne vinaigrette. To assemble the hors d’oeuvres, carefully cut the marinated Manchego into ½-inch rounds. Arrange one round slice on a small spoon and top with crouton mixture. Garnish with tomato powder, fennel pollen and remaining Greek basil leaves. Season to taste and serve immediately.