New Year’s Treat

Goat Cheese

Here’s a fast and easy treat for New Year’s Eve or New Years’s Day brunch.  It was part of one of my first In The Kitchen columns written for the Packet, back in April 2002 (yikes!). 

Where ever I take it, it gets raves, and it only takes moments to put together.  I almost always use herbes de provence instead of minced fresh herbs now, and have come to like a blend of olive and grapeseed oils, since sometimes straight olive oil is a bit strong for the delicate goat cheese.  If you’re in a big rush, you can omit the parsley and even the garlic, as this is one of those recipes you’ll make your own over time.  Happy New Year everyone!

 Marinated Goat Cheese

1 log of fresh, plain, goat cheese, about 11 ounces

1 cup extra virgin olive oil or 50/50 olive and grapeseed oils

2 tablespoons mixed minced fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, marjoram, oregano (or use 1 tablespoon dried Herbes de Provence)

1 tablespoon minced fresh curly parsley

1 finely minced clove of garlic

12 pink peppercorns (These are usually freeze-dried and soften quickly in the oil. Fine to substitute freshly ground black pepper.)

2 bay leaves

2 small dried red chilies (optional)

1 long baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices just before serving

Cut goat cheese into 1-inch slices.  Pour 1 cup of olive oil in shallow serving dish or wide mouth glass jar and add all the other ingredients, except for the bread.  (I just throw the herbs, parsley and garlic into my mini-chopper and briefly whirl to chop them.)  Stir the marinade, then arrange the cheese slices in the dish or jar.  Add extra oil, if needed, to cover cheese, and either turn slices to distribute the herbs evenly, or if using a jar, close and turn over several times.  Let marinate, covered, in refrigerator for a few hours or a day before using, if you have time, but it’s delicious moments after it’s made, too.   Serve with sliced baguette (remove chilies, lest your guests get a hot surprise).  It keeps for about 10 days, and any leftover oil can be used in salad dressing.

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One thought on “New Year’s Treat

  1. Faith, this looks and sounds simply beautiful – your hosts are so fortunate to have you arrive bearing gastronomic gifts!

    Thank you for reminding me of one of the treasures of my year (87/88) in Provence. There, the creators of goat cheese would ask whether we wanted the goat cheese of today, of yesterday, of last week or last month. Olive oil sellers also offered choices – the most beautiful sounding word and beautiful tasting oil was ‘fruitier’ (fuweeteeay).

    I had never heard of putting goat cheese in oil , but some of them had done this for us, in beautiful heavy glass jars with metal and rubber contraptions to close solidly for our journeys home. Actually, it was very hard to leave the Cannes marche!

    O, nobody knows how to celebrate more richly than the Provencal! Thank you from a hermit at work on New Year’s Eve… Carolyn

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