For 6 to 10 people
1 pound softened goat cheese
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (optional)
dash of salt (optional, to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Press the softened goat cheese flat into a platter with a raised rim (see picture). Choose your prettiest platter for best presentation. The cheese should be flattened to about 1/2 inch thick. With your hands, shape the cheese so the rim rises up about a quarter inch. This will prevent the oils from spilling off the top of the cheese. Use a fork to poke holes into the cheese, (this allows the flavors of the olive oil, vinegar, and herbs to penetrate better into the cheese). Be careful not to poke the rim.
Drizzle half of the oils onto the cheese. Then sprinkle on the fresh chopped herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Drizzle the rest of the oils over the mixture. Put the cheese in the refrigerator and let marinate overnight. This allows the oils and flavors to marry right into the cheese. But this dish can also be enjoyed immediately, with no marinating.
Serve with crostini, gourmet crackers, sliced cucumbers, or carrot sticks.
This appetizer was recently served at a wedding at Frey Vineyards to 450 people. We used 5 gallons of home-made goat cheese!
(Recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 2010)
The goat cheese before the topping.