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Pecorino Cheese and Olive Oil

Pecorino ed'Olio di Oliva

SERVES 4

If you have aged Pecorino cheese in the refrigerator, this antipasto can be made in no time. Pecorino is made exclusively from sheep's milk; it is salted and aged. Some varieties are studded with green or black peppercorns. You may be familiar with Pecorino Romano, which simply means sheep's milk cheese from the region of Lazio, which includes Rome, but Pecorino is also a specialty cheese of other regions of Italy, including Tuscany, Sicily, and Sardinia.

In this antipasto, the cheese is cubed and marinated in extra-virgin olive oil with oregano. No additional salt is used in the recipe because the cheese is salty enough. A variation is to add oil-cured black olives. Serve it with slices of crusty bread.

Ingredients

1/2 pound aged Pecorino cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Grinding of coarse black pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/4 cup pitted and diced black oil-cured olives

Directions

In a bowl combine the cheese, olive oil, pepper, and oregano and toss with a spoon to coat the cheese well.

Stir in the olives.

Cover the bowl and allow the cheese to marinate for at least 2 hours at room temperature before serving as part of an antipasto with good crusty bread.

Variation: Diced red sweet peppers and thin slivers of fennel also make a nice combination.

Did you know that hard cheese will grate much more easily if allowed to come to room temperature first?

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