|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 3 to 5|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 37g||47%|
|Saturated Fat 15g||73%|
|Total Carbohydrate 77g||28%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||26%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Provoleta is basically just browned and melted cheese. But though it seems simple, this Argentine dish can be a little tricky to make in its authentic form. Traditionally, a thick slice of provoleta—the name of the cheese as well as the dish—is placed on a hot grill over a charcoal fire until crisped and browned with a gooey just-melted center. Hot off the fire, it’s often served with grilled bread and chimichurri. Simple!
Yet for the novice provoletero, achieving the right balance of textures and flavors in the cheese can mean a bit of trial and error. The first problem is getting the right cheese. Recipes for provoleta generally call for provolone without mentioning that provoleta and provolone are not exactly the same product. In fact provoleta is the trademarked name of a cheese invented around 1940 specifically for grilling. It was created as a pre-game appetizer for the chargrilled meats for which Argentina is famous. It’s like provolone but not exactly the same.
Since the real deal can’t be found in most grocery stores outside of South America, maybe it’s moot, but the point is that factors like the cheese’s age, protein and fat content can determine whether your slice will drip disastrously into the coals or brown beautifully in the smoky heat. Whether the provolone from your local grocer will perform as desired is something you must discover for yourself.
The next hurdle, easier to clear by far, is getting thick slices. That means a trip to the deli counter, and then possibly some further effort convincing the person behind it that you really do want your cheese sliced that thickly.
Finally, there’s dialing in the grill. The intensity of the fire, the distance to the grate, the timing—no recipe can spell these out. You’ve got to tackle the problem yourself. Maybe get a few extra slices just in case.
12 ounces provolone, in a single block
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 loaf rustic bread, sliced
Olive oil, for drizzling
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Put the cheese out on your counter to dry in the open air for a few hours.
In the meantime, make the chimichurri. Add garlic, parsley, oregano, oil, vinegar, salt and red pepper to a food processor. Pulse until the herbs and garlic reach a coarse to medium fine consistency. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
When at least one side of the cheese has a bit of a dried skin, fire up the charcoal grill. Have a small cast-iron pan handy in case the cheese gets too melty. Grill the cheese on the dry side until crisp and lightly browned. Flip the cheese over into the cast-iron pan. Put the pan on the grill and melt the cheese to your desired level. Remove from heat.
Drizzle your bread with oil and quickly grill it on both sides. Remove and serve with the provoleta and chimichurri.
The grilled provolone can be served with or, if desired, on the toasted bread.
This delicious, cheesy starter calls for wine. Which color, you might ask. With cheese, you can drink either red or white—just as long as it's dry.
Since this is an Argentinian appetizer, there's nothing better than an Argentinian malbec or malbec-syrah blend. These wines are relatively inexpensive but deliver bunches of complexity. This is Argentina's signature grape variety and a great bang for the buck. Other red choices are syrah, which has smoky tones; or Argentinian or Spanish tempranillo.
If you prefer white, try torrontes for an Argentinian adventure. Spanish whites will reward you with a multitude of subtle, crisp flavors. Check out an albarino, a verdejo or a godello.