If you never tried Queijo Coalho, you need to figure out a way to do so. For those of you who might not know, Queijo Coalho is a salty Brazilian cheese from Northeastern Brazil. This cheese is so delicious that it is popular throughout the whole country. Its texture is firmer and unique (when you chew it, it squeaks… I know, but I swearrrrr it does) so it is great for grilling, making it a hit in barbecue parties and a must have snack at the beach. Yes, AT THE BEACH! Queijo Coalho is typically served on a kebab stick. Street vendors sell them everywhere, plain or topped with some oregano.
Sadly you will not find queijo coalho just anywhere outside of Brazil. In LA, I get mine here, but Amazon has it too! So… see!? No excuses! Make it, take a picture, and post it on IG #CookingWithAline
“Have you ever tried queijo coalho or any other Brazilian cheese? What did you think? Leave a comment and let me know!”
Tomato Salad with Coalho Cheese Step by Step
Alright, let’s grill some cheese!! But first things first… we gotta set the right mood! So here, listen to this song which represents Northeastern Brazil very well, and it praises the state where it is said Queijo Coalho has its origins in – Pernambuco!
Now we are ready… at this point you can just remove the queijo coalho from the package and carefully place it on your hot grill. You can also just grill it using a skillet, which is waaaaaay easier and simpler, especially if this is all you’d be using the grill for.
Alternatively, for the purpose of this recipe, if you really need to substitute the cheese (*eyes rolling* *attitude throwing* *cold shoulder giving* – yes I’m judging you…) you can use Queso Fresco, which doesn’t taste like Queijo Coalho, but we can grill it similarly (and yes I hid this from you until now hoping you’d just go get the Coalho… *more attitude*)
I’m mad at you, but there you go… If you are using Queso Fresco, cut it in 1 inch chunks, then grill it on a skillet. Careful because, unlike the Queijo Coalho, this cheese will melt, so work with a hot skillet, and work quickly – see how it looks different!
Now for the croutons, just slice an old baguette super thin with a mandolin (it helps to freeze the bread a little bit, so it holds its shape better)
Then smash a garlic clove and mix it with some olive oil, red pepper flakes and salt, and brush it over the croutons.
annnnd this is pretty much it, just cut some tomatoes in chunks, combine with the grilled cheese, season it, dress it up and serve
Tomato Salad with Grilled Coalho Cheese and Garlic Croutons
For the Croutons
- 1/4 baguette sliced thin
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes or more if you prefer
- 1 garlic clove smashed
- Pinch of salt
For the Salad
- 2 sticks of queijo coalho grilled and cut into cubes
- 2 heirloom tomatoes chunked
- Tbsp of Arbequina olive oil
- 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- about a Tbsp of fresh oregano leaves
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Maldon sea salt or kosher salt to taste
For the Croutons
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, pepper flakes, smashed garlic, salt and give it stir.
- Gently brush the oil mixture on both sides of the baguette slices, then bake for a few mins, until golden brown (about 4-5 mins, depending on your oven).
- Remove from the oven and let it cool.
For the Salad
- Combine cheese and tomatoes in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar to the bowl, and give it a gentle mix, just enough to coat the tomatoes and cheese with the oil and vinegar.
- Move the salad to a serving dish/bowl and finish by sprinkling with maldon salt, pepper, oregano and garnish with the croutons.