The tartness of goat cheese combined with robust olive oil, freshly chopped herbs, spicy peppercorns, earthy tapenade, and sun-dried tomatoes creates an addictive cheese spread packed with complex flavor. This amazingly amenable cheese offers a myriad of possible flavor combinations from sweet honey and dried fruit to other herbs and spices.
For the Herb-Marinated Goat Cheese:
5½ ounces plain goat cheese log
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive tapenade
2 tablespoons sundried tomato
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons basil chiffonade
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
For the Crostini:
Baguette or other artisan bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
What is Goat Cheese? This special cheese, known as Chèvre in France, derives from goat’s milk. For those who suffer from lactose intolerance, both sheep and goat milk offer excellent options as their lactose content is relatively low. Moreover, this protein- and mineral-rich, healthy-fat milk produces capric acid, which creates beneficial intestinal bacteria and reduces inflammation when consumed. Lastly, goat cheese is highly adaptable to various degrees of texture, strength, age, and flavor. The more goat cheese ages, the more gentle the flavor and crumbling the texture. Young, soft, and creamy goat cheese offers a strong piquancy, especially when used in making bleu cheese.
To Prepare the Herb-Marinated Goat Cheese:
Slice the log of goat cheese into ¼-inch-thick pats.* Place ⅓ of the goat cheese slices in the bottom of a lidded glass jar or metal-hinged apothecary jar. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add ½ teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive tapenade, 1 tablespoon sundried tomato, 1 tablespoon minced shallot, ½ teaspoon chopped thyme, ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary, 1 tablespoon basil chiffonade, and ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorn. Stack the next ⅓ of the sliced goat cheese and repeat the process with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon basil chiffonade, and the remaining marinade ingredients. Next, place the final ⅓ of the goat cheese slices on top and fill the jar with the olive oil. Garnish with the last tablespoon of basil chiffonade. Fit the airtight lid on the jar and lightly tilt or shake to coat all the goat cheese with the oil and herbs. Set the jar in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to meld for at least 1 hour.
To Prepare the Crostini:
Heat oven to 400°F. Slice across the baguette to form ¼-inch-thick rounds. Coat each side of the slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the top side begins to turn golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven momentarily to turn each slice over. Return to the oven and toast the opposite side for 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the bread rounds to cool and harden on the pan. Serve freshly prepared crostini with herb-marinated goat cheese.
*A “pat” is approximately equivalent from ½ to 1 tablespoon butter or soft cheese.
Recipe Created and Stylized by Brontë E. Mock
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