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Spanish-Style Pressed Manchego Cheese Sammies and Spicy Salad

Serves 4

This menu is perfect for a Salad and Sammie Night!


  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (eyeball it)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • A few dashes of hot sauce
  • Lots of black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, cleaned, dried and chopped or torn
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • A generous handful of pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • 8 slices crusty white bread
  • 3/4 pound Manchego cheese, sliced
  • 2 Piquillo peppers or 1 roasted red pepper, chopped


  1. Grate the garlic with a Microplane grater or small side of box grater into the bottom of a large salad bowl. Add the sherry vinegar, mustard, hot sauce and pepper to the bowl, then whisk in about 1/3 cup EVOO in a slow stream.
  2. Add lettuce and onions to the bowl and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt to taste. Top the salad with capers, olives, parsley and nuts.
  3. Pre-heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until EVOO is very hot.
  4. Make four sandwiches of bread, Manchego cheese and a sprinkle of chopped Piquillo or roasted peppers. Press with a brick covered in foil or with a smaller skillet weighted with full cans. Press and grill the sammies in the skillet until deeply golden and cheese has melted, 5-6 minutes, turning once.
  5. Cut sammies in half and serve next to HUGE piles of spicy Spanish salad.

Photo credit: Tina Rupp