Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cherry Tomato & Panela Cheese Salad w/ Chile de Arbol Infused Olive Oil

Mexican Caprese Salad

I usually only prepare this salad duing the summer, when I'm in the mood for something light and refreshing.  But lately, my favorite produce vendor has had these gorgeous little cherry tomatoes that are so full of flavor, I just had to try them in this salad.

Granted, this salad isn't a traditional Mexican recipe, but it is my Mexican twist on the Italian Caprese Salad, substituting Queso Panela and chopped cilantro for the fresh mozzarella cheese and basil.  And to top it all off, a spicy Chile de Arbol infused olive oil.

I can't remember the last time I had such great tasting tomatoes.  One of my fellow Mexpats described them best saying, "They're like little sugar bombs going off in your mouth!"  And I couldn't agree more.  I don't know how long these tasty little gems will be available at the markets here in Mexico, but for now, I can't get enough of them.

Cherry Tomato & Panela Cheese Salad w/ Chile de Arbol Infused Olive Oil

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 to 8 oz. Panela cheese, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Chile de Arbol Olive Oil (recipe below) 

Directions:
In a medium bow, gently toss together the cherry tomatoes, panela cheese and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, drizzle with Chile de Arbol olive oil.  Enjoy!!!

Cherry Tomato & Panela Cheese Salad w/ Chile de Arbol Olive Oil



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Chile de Arbol Olive Oil is a fragrant, chile infused oil that can be used in salad dressings and vinaigrettes, to saute fish, shrimp, chicken, beef or pork and can be used in just about any savory recipe that calls for olive oil.

Chile de Arbol Olive Oil

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (you can also use canola oil)
  • 3 to 5 dried arbol chilies

Directions:
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Toast the arbol chilies for about a minute.  Carefully pour in the oil and reduce heat.  Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the chilies start to darken.  Remove from heat and let cool.  

Pour cooled oil into glass bottle and stir in 1 chopped arbol chile.  Cover tightly and store at room temperature.  Enjoy!!! 

Chile de Arbol Olive Oil

Don't forget to join me this month as we celebrate Tomatoes for this month's Food of the Month Club.




  Photobucket


11 comments:

  1. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try and my my own chile-oil! Heee!

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  2. The infused oil is wonderful Leslie, but panela with cheese..so delish!

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  3. I have to try this!!! Looks pretty good!

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  4. Thanks, Leslie, I love this recipe, and can´t wait to make my chile de arbol olive oil.

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  5. Yes, Yes, and HecksYes! I love the Mexican twist...as a matter of fact, with that hunk of bread, it'd be like heaven to me. Delicioso!

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    1. That hunk of bread is perfect for dipping in the chile de arbol olive oil! Yum! :P

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  6. Great leslie! I have to try this.. yummy!

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  7. Yes. Yes. Yes! I love panela cheese.... I use it pretty often in my house too! I'm going to make this delicious looking salad ASAP! :)

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  8. Panela is such a friendly cheese--lie a blank palate. Thanks for this interesting and easy recipe.

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  9. That infused olive oil sounds great! This is something I will definitely make this summer when we have fresh tomatoes in the garden. And I could see using the olive oil in salad dressings and to toss with roasted potatoes as well.

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