Keep a jar in the refrigerator, and you’ve got a quick appetizer!
One of those happy accidents. I had prepared a plate of sliced goat cheese for a gathering and I sprinkled it with herbs and crushed red peppers, drizzled it with olive oil, and had a bit left over at the end of the day. I stuffed the leftovers in a jar and topped it off with a bit more oil to cover. A couple days later, I slathered it on a cracker and fell in love with it. A little time made a big difference flavor wise.
Now, there is often a jar in my refrigerator, and my grandson in particular gobbles it up!
Fun to experiment
I’ve since experimented, and this is delightful with many different variations, so use what is delicious, what you like best. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Here, I used my own mix of Herbes de Provençe which includes fennel seed, thyme, basil, summer savory, marjoram, and lavender flowers. You could also use a favorite Italian blend of spices, or anything that strikes your fancy. If you don’t want the heat of the crushed red peppers, use crushed sweet pepper or paprika flakes. I used a prosecco vinegar, which is divine, but any white vinegar would be fine.
A world of possibilities
Choose a fruity and flavorful imported Italian extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressed, estate grown. A really good olive oil will be all from one estate, the olives hand-picked, and there will be a harvest date on the bottle. This is not what I use in cooking, but for finishing and salads. It is pricey, but worth the extra. When the cheese is all consumed, either add some more, or use the oil for other purposes. Not a drop of it will go to waste.
Dried cranberries add a bit of texture and sweetness, but you can substitute raisins or sultanas. Other times, I’ve used a thinly sliced onion, some capers, or a few sliced olives or sun-dried tomatoes. If something is sitting on the counter unused, it might get tossed in. Use your imagination!
Let it sit for at least a few hours for best results, or eat it immediately, it’s still pretty delightful!
Goat Cheese Marinated with Herbes de Provençe
- 1 4-oz. log goat cheese
- 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
- 1 tsp. dried herbes de Provence
- 1 star anise
- ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, hot or sweet
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. minced dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- Best fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Slice the chilled goat cheese with dental floss into desired rounds, it’s the easiest and least messy way. Place the garlic clove, herbes, cranberries, vinegar, and 1/2 cup olive oil in a jar and shake well. Add the goat cheese, and top off with more oil to completely cover.
Place in the refrigerator for a few hours, or eat immediately. It will get better as it sits, but don’t plan on it staying around very long.
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