Manchego and Mustard Mosaic-003

Manchego cheese truly is one of the best things on earth.

It’s nutty. It’s buttery. It’s a bit sharp…but it’s also creamy.

It’s amazing.

Manchego (officially Spanish: queso manchegopronounced: [ˈkeso maɲˈtʃeɣo]) is a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed. Official manchego cheese is to be aged for between 60 days and two years.

Manchego has a firm and compact consistency and a buttery texture, and often contains small, unevenly-distributed air pockets. The colour of the cheese varies from white to ivory-yellow, and the inedible rind from yellow to brownish beige. The cheese has a distinctive flavour, well developed but not too strong, creamy with a slight piquancy, and leaves an aftertaste that is characteristic of sheep’s milk.

And it’s so incredibly special that

The designation queso manchego is protected under Spain’s Denominación de Origen (DO) regulatory classification system, and the cheese has been granted Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Union.

It kind of makes you want to go crazy and disappear into a little bit of Manchego heaven for ever and ever.

It does.

Tangy and spicy mustard is pretty great too.

Oh, and so are sweet parsnips and uniquely flavored kohlrabi.

I guess that means combining all of these spectacular elements leads to something magical.

That’s right ~ magical and marvelous.

This little dealio is so incredible that I simply could not fashion a flavor worthy designation.

Thinly sliced veggies with a simple miso-mustard vinaigrette and shaved Manchego.

So, what would you entitle this epithet?

I’d love to know.

Marvelous Mustard and Manchego Mosaic

2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 head of kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. mellow white miso paste
2 Tbs. stone ground mustard
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. raw honey

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
4 oz. Manchego cheese, thinly shaved

Season the parsnip and kohlrabi slices with a bit of sea salt.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and using a steam basket, steam the veggies until slightly soft. SLIGHTLY is key here. You still want a little crunch, but also a whole lot of sweetness that results from the starches and sugars hiding inside these things releasing through cooking.
Once SLIGHTLY soft, remove from heat and chill. The slices are very delicate, so be careful.
Meanwhile, whisk together the miso, mustard, vinegar, honey, and oil. Add a touch of freshly pressed garlic, if you really want to go insane.
Once the veggies are “chill,” drizzle or gently toss with the vinaigrette and top with the shavings of truly amazing cheese.
Serve on a bed of baby butter lettuce, if desired, and dust with some roasted hazelnuts.

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