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closeup of wine marinated cherries with white cheddar with a glass of red wine and a stack of white plates in the background

White Cheddar with Wine-Soaked Cherries and Herbs

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This is an incredible—and an incredibly easy—dish, one that beautifully dresses up a familiar and easily accessible cheese. Serve it at a party or a picnic, or as an afternoon snack with your favorite bottle of Merlot. The cherries need a couple of days to soak, though, so remember to prepare them in advance.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Seasonal autumn, Christmas, Easter, New Year's Eve, summer
Ingredient Cheddar Cheese, Dried Cherries
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence see below
  • 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup dried Bing or other sweet not tart dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz medium-sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • Whole wheat crackers for serving

Instructions

  • In a medium glass or stain-resistant plastic container, combine the wine, olive oil, vinegar, herbes de Provence, and salt, whisking to dissolve the salt.
  • Add the cherries, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 days, stirring occasionally. (You can refrigerate the cherry mixture for up to a week, stirring occasionally.)

To serve:

  • Place the cheese on a platter and let it and the cherry mixture come to room temperature. Spoon the cherry mixture over and around the cheese.
  • Serve with the crackers on the side.

Notes

Note: Herbes de Provence is a wonderful mixture of dried herbs evocative of southern France. Most blends include basil, rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme, and lavender. Herbes de Provence is available in the spice section of most major supermarkets and specialty food stores. It’s often packaged in a small clay crock. Besides using it in this recipe, you can use Herbes de Provence sprinkled on roasting poultry, pork, and lamb and stirred into a summer tomato pasta.