Cabrales cheese is an artisan blue-veined cheese from the mountainous area of Asturias, Spain where Picos of Europa are located. The cheese is initially cured for two weeks in cylindrical molds and then furthered aged for two to five months in natural limestone caves for which the area is known. The cheese is made with pure, unpasteurized cow’s milk or blended with goat’s or sheep’s milk which results in a stronger, spicier cheese. In this tapa, the sharp spiciness is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the dates. The touches of rosemary and olive oil give a final refreshing herbal tone to the tapa.
Serves 4-6 as a tapa
20 dried pitted dates
1/2 pound Cabrales cheese, chilled and crumbled
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Snipped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Make a slit in the side of each date and push a small mound of the cheese into the slit. Place the stuffed figs in a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Add the rosemary and toss. Serve at room temperature.