Spanish salad—with Castelvetrano olives, cubed Redwood Hill raw-milk goat feta, California almonds (blanched and toasted), pimentón, olive oil, and salt—mixed to order.
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The Cheese Course: Killer App

Janet Fletcher - July 7th, 2014

Janet Fletcher, author of Cheese & Beer, Cheese & Wine, and The Cheese Course, and cheese columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle for more than a decade, brings her cheese expertise to FoodArts.com.

So simple, so tasty…and gorgeous to boot: the olive and feta appetizer at Farmshop in Larkspur, California, turns every head on its way to a table. An order scooped into a ramekin glistens on the marble counter, waiting for pickup, and any customer who notices it there has to have it.

The starter is assembled to order, and even a busser could do it: Plump green Castelvetrano olives (substitute Cerignolas, if you like), cubed Redwood Hill Farm goat’s milk feta, toasted blanched California almonds (or Spanish Marconas), Spanish smoked pimentón, olive oil, and salt.

The original Farmshop in Santa Monica created this killer crowd-pleaser, and it occasionally reappears on the menu there as “Spanish salad.” At Farmshop’s Northern California location in Larkspur, the menu dispenses with the Spanish reference. Instead, the $10 app coasts on the popularity of the mellow, buttery, vivid-green Castelvetrano olives from Sicily and the familiarity diners have with the nearby Redwood Hill creamery, the home-team goat’s milk cheese producer.

Borrow this idea and serve with a local artisan bread. A crisp, fresh, high-acid white wine, like Italy’s Vermentino di Gallura or Spanish Albariño, makes a mouthwatering match.