Ever Wondered How to Serve Goat Cheese?
Here’s a simple and extremely delicious way to enjoy goat’s cheese. It’s some of the best of whole food, clean eating and fresh seasonal produce all in one serving. I find a small amount of high quality cheese, rather than a big glob of melted, stretchy and heart attack inducing ordinary cheese, an easy sacrifice to make. If you’re dairy-free by choice or circumstance, I understand, but, if not, let’s all get aboard this flavor train. Next stop, pure deliciousness!
What Wine to Pair with Chevre, or, Goat Cheese?
All goat cheeses, called chevre (Pronounced “Shev”)(French for goat) have in common is an unmistakable flavor—a bright, tangy, and a little barnyard-like. This makes a perfect pairing with Sauvignon Blanc wine to serve with goat cheese. The unique earthiness, plus the seductively soft texture, is what makes goat cheese such a delicious addition to so many dishes. If you need more reason to go goat, consider this—goat’s milk is more easily digestible than cow’s, and so can be a good choice for the lactose intolerant. Plus, it’s lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol.
How Goat Cheese Became Popular in California Cuisine.
Thanks to the legendary chef and founder at Chez Panisse , Alice Waters in 1971, and the exceptional cheese maker, Laura Chenel, in nearby Sonoma, goat cheese might not have become a California Cuisine mainstay. This was in the early 1970’s, and nearly 50 years ago. Who else would have invented goat cheese used on salads and pizzas? It was because Laura, after training in France, brought her European style goat cheese to Alice Waters to sample. There was a standing order for Laura from Chez Panisse after that. Although there are many cheese producers in Sonoma County, Laura’s cheese is still considered truly exceptional on a local as well as an international level.
Why Bake Goat Cheese?
In case you’re wondering, why would you bake goat cheese? It’s because it releases more flavor when it’s warm and creamy! It’s the same reason most people bake brie cheese, or insist on having melted cheese on pizza. It’s irresistible! Try this easy recipe for an appetizer or after dinner or dessert course (if you like European culture) or along with seasonal fresh fruit. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
- 4 Rounds of fresh goat cheese, each about 2½ inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick
- 1 t Dried thyme
- 1 C Fine, fresh bread crumbs
- 3 C Mixed Lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 T Olive Oil
- 3T Red wine vinegar
- ¼ t Kosher sea salt
- Pinch of Freshly ground black pepper
- 16 sml Toasted bread slices (4 pieces of toast cut into quarters after rubbing with garlic cloves)
- 4-6 peeled, halved garlic cloves
- Fresh figs, seedless grapes or sliced fresh pears for example, can also be served with this (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small jar, combine olive oil, salt and pepper; shake well and cover with a tight fitting lid and set aside until needed
- Unwrap and cut goat cheese rounds and coat them all over in a small bowl with a combined mix of breadcrumbs and dried thyme.
- Put rounds in an oiled 8 x 8 inch baking dish and place in the oven.
- Bake 6 -10 minutes at 400F degrees, or until cheese is lightly bubbling and golden.
- Meanwhile, toast bread and rub with garlic cloves on one side.
- Serve the cheese on warm plates surrounded by garlic toast slices.
- Serve with a salad dressed with the simple vinaigrette dressing.
If you want more deliciousness, see our recipe gallery next.