This recipe for the best marinated cheese works well for two reasons. Marinating the cheese can add flavors, enhancing the cheese and it can keep the cheese fresh for months.
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BEST MARINATED CHEESE RECIPE
This recipe for the best marinated cheese works well for two reasons. Marinating the cheese can add flavors, soften and enhance the cheese. But it can also preserve the cheese, keeping it fresh for months.
Sometimes we buy cheese in large slabs and don’t always use it up right away. Submerging it in oil is a centuries-old method of preserving cheese. The oil keeps out bacteria, so it is safe to eat for many months. Since we are usually serving the cheese with olive oil, the combination works well. The texture becomes softer, and with a cheese like Parmesan , it keeps it from getting too hard.
Preserving cheese in oil is an excellent way to store it for an extended period of time. The cheese remains soft and can develop a pleasant texture. It also ensures that the cheese does not dry out. The most popular form of oil for this method of preservation is olive oil, although other types can also be used. When preserving cheese in oil, it is important to choose a high-quality oil that has been cold-pressed and unrefined. The cheese should also be properly sealed (making sure there are no air pockets) before submerging in the oil. This will prevent the cheese from coming into contact with oxygen, which can cause spoilage.
To preserve cheese in oil, first cut the cheese into cubes or slices and place it in an airtight container. Make sure there is no excess air in the container when closing it. Once sealed, pour enough olive oil into the container to completely submerge the cheese. Make sure the cheese is completely covered with oil so that no oxygen can spoil it. Seal the container with an airtight lid and store it in your refrigerator.
It is important to regularly monitor the condition of the preserved cheese and make sure that it is still covered by oil. If necessary, top off with additional oil every couple weeks to make sure there is always enough to cover the cheese. If any mold or discoloration appears on the cheese, then discard it immediately. Otherwise, properly stored cheese can last for up to three months in the refrigerator without spoilage. With these precautions taken, preserving your favorite cheeses in oil can be a tasty and convenient way to enjoy them for an extended period of time.
We have used any number of cute, antique or attractive jars or crocks for doing this, but honestly, the easiest and most practical is the average canning jar.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST MARINATED CHEESE RECIPE
For the best marinated cheese, start with the best ingredients. This is basically just the two ingredients, cheese and olive oil, so select a really good cheese and a really good olive oil.
We are fortunate to have excellent local cheeses in California and well as local cheese shops and farmer’s markets where it is easy to shop for local products. We also shop on the internet for real parmesan cheese from Italy and other European cheeses. The difference in quality is amazing.
Preserving the cheese in oil works best with hard cheese like Parmesan, but we have also marinated soft goat this way, with herbs from our garden to add flavor. The herbs impart some flavor to the cheese, but more to the oil, that we later serve with the cheese.
The cheese marinating in oil does not need to be stored in the refrigerator, but just to be safe, we store it there anyway, especially when we have added herbs. The oil becomes translucent because of the cold, but it becomes clear again and ready to serve by letting it sit on the counter for about thirty minutes.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
We use California Olive Ranch olive oil because we like the taste and quality and it maintains that buttery taste. They have a way of harvesting the olives that allows them to leave the olives on the trees longer, which gives the oil the mellow rich taste. And, since it’s a California company, it qualifies as buying local.
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Photos by Tony Fitzgerald Photography