Sunday, 3 July 2011

Goat Cheese Spread with Fresh Herbs & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

As promised in my last post here is the appetizer that I brought to our Canada Day celebration this year. At this annual party that our friends host, guests bring various desserts, salads and appetizers to share with each other.

In past years I never would have even considered bringing a dish with goat cheese in it. I remember last Canada Day thinking that goat cheese tasted like burnt plastic - not an appetizing taste! I know what you're thinking and no, I have never cooked up some Lego or gnawed on a Barbie but that was the after taste that I was left with each time I attempted to like goat cheese. This year something changed and I've had a smouldering love affair with goat cheese. Oh yes, people! Goat cheese got it's sexy back and I'm finding it really hard to resist!

So now I'm totally crushing on goat cheese and try to find various ways to incorporate it into our meals. When I was asked to bring something for the party I immediately thought I could kill two birds with one stone. I'd satisfy the goat cheese beast that dwells within me AND get to think up a new recipe for the blog. Win, win!

Well, this was a hit at the party. There's not many better things for a food blogger than to hear praise over a recipe you've made. Just as the guests started to dig into this appetizer I had to grab a bit for myself in order to get a picture for the blog. Priorities!! This photo will not win awards because there I was on the edge of a group of people with a slice of baguette smothered in this spread trying to hold it with one hand while taking a picture with my little 'point and shoot' camera in the other. This is the glamour and glitz behind the scenes at food blogging people. ;)

Needless to say I had to hold myself back from eating it all up but I'm glad that the other adults (the kids would only schnorff down plain baguette pieces) really enjoyed it as well. I think serving this tangy spread with homemade baguettes was the icing on the proverbial cake. I love the chewiness of the bread and the tanginess of the spread. Plus, making baguettes is easy ... when you have a bread maker! With the stores being closed on Canada Day I couldn't get a fresh baguette and since one of my kids is allergic to peanuts buying bread from bakeries is a risky business due to cross-contamination. Hence, the FOUR homemade baguettes that I brought to the party! Needless to say, there was nothing left of my appetizer. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

UPDATE (6 hours after writing the 1st draft of this post): I think I have a problem. I made this appetizer again today (July 3rd) -- you know, 2 days after making it for Canada Day -- for a get together with my extended family. How much is too much goat cheese consumption?!? My poor basil plant looks like it has mange for goodness sake!! I'll start to cut back on my goat cheese intake if I start to 'baaaaa' or chew on aluminum cans. Until then I'm happily addicted to this tangy cheese. :)

Goat Cheese Spread with Fresh Herbs and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
From: The Baking Bookworm

300g package of goat cheese
olive or grapeseed oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/4 cup black olives, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4-1/2 tsp hot chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
Fresh baguettes - sliced into 1-inch pieces

Lazy Method of Roasting Garlic: Add garlic to a small skillet. Add enough oil to just cover the garlic. Sauté on very low temperature until garlic becomes very pale yellow colour (this will take about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and allow garlic to cool completely before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine basil, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, rosemary, hot chili pepper flakes, black pepper and cooled garlic. Add enough oil to make the herb mixture moist. Mix well. Let mixture sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour (or in the fridge for up to 1 day). This will help the flavours blend together.

Spread goat cheese into a pie plate or other microwave-safe dish. Goat cheese should be approximately 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Spoon herb mixture over the goat cheese and spread evenly. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until just warmed.

Garnish with extra basil, olives or sun-dried tomatoes, if desired.

Serve with fresh baguette slices and try not to inhale in all before your guests get a bite. This dish is addictive!!

This recipe has been included in the following Linky Parties :

Featured on Cast Party Wednesday


Michelle said...

This appetizer sounds phenomenal. I adore goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes and fresh bread. I need a party now, so that I can make this!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Thanks Michelle. :) I think goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes is reason enough to throw a party!! ;)

You're a girl after my own heart. Mmmm, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes (and balsamic - which isn't even IN this recipe!! Shocking!) are some of my favourite flavours! Throw any combo of those flavours on some fresh bread and I'm in heaven!! :)

Anonymous said...

This looks so good. I'm having a recipe only link party "Cast Party Wednesday". This would be a perfect addition to my party. I would love it if you came by and shared some of your recipes with us.
I hope to see you there!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Thanks so much Ladybehindthecurtain for the invite. I have added this recipe to your link party!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I wanted to thank you for visiting Cast Party Wednesday last week. I would love it if came back tomorrow and shared more of your recipes with me.
I hope to see you there!

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