Formaggio All-Argentiera

From The Good Cook's Book of Oil and Vinegar

This dish is so very delicious, with an aroma that captures you and makes your appetite blossom. It is tempting to eat too much of it so be careful if you are serving it as an appetizer.

Silversmith Cheese

If you want to indulge for dinner, this recipe will serve 2 or 3 and all you’ll need alongside is a big green salad and a  rustic red wine. If you cannot find Caciocavallo, a Sicilian cheese that is increasingly available in the United States, you can use Scamorza, Provolone, or a domestic smoked mozzarella.

  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ½ pounds smoked Caciocavallo, cut into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 loaf of rustic hearth bread or 1 baguette, hot


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan–cast iron or heavy non-stick ideal–over medium-low heat, add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Use tongs to remove the garlic. Set the cheese in the pan in a single layer and cook for 3 to 4 mintues. Use a metal spatula to quickly turn the cheese over and cook until it is on the verge of melting completely, about 2 minutes.

  2. Working quickly, sprinkle the oregano, the vinegar, and the sugar over the cheese, cook 1 minute more and then transfer the cheese in its pan to the table, setting it on a trivet or thick pot holder. Serve immediately, with the hot bread alongside.

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