Pressed Manchego Cheese Sammies and Spicy Spanish Salad
- 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)
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 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
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.
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.
Halve the sammies and serve with generous helpings of the spicy Spanish salad.