This easy appetizer is beautiful and outrageously delicious. Serve it with warm crusty bread and be sure to make plenty! It will get gobbled up before you can say "Herb Marinated Goat Cheese"!
Something magical happens when you combine goat cheese and olive oil and let the two of them mingle and marry. The goat cheese is transformed into something so creamy and delicious that people often ask "What is this"? Add lots of fresh herbs, finely chopped sundried tomatoes and tiny slivers of garlic. Then top the whole thing with toasted pine nuts and serve it with some warm crusty bread. You might just find guests wanting to forget about dinner!
This Herb Marinated Goat Cheese is, to me, the perfect appetizer because it doesn't take long to put together and can be made early in the day. In fact, it's best made early, so all the wonderful flavors can meld and marry together. Just pull it out of the refrigerator about a half-hour before serving. I like pairing this appetizer with a bowl of toasted pine nuts and some, warm, thick baguette slices (drizzled lightly with olive oil). It's one of those appetizers that gets gobbled up in a hurry!
What kind of herbs to use with this recipe?
You choose! Whatever you have or whatever is freshest at the market will be delicious. I happened to have fresh rosemary, parsley, and thyme, but dill and mint is also a great combination. In the summer months, when basil is prolific (Oh how I long for those days!), throw in lots of torn or sliced basil. You can use a combination or just one herb on its own. If you only have one fresh herb, it's nice also to add a sprinkle of dried herbs like oregano or basil or a combination blend like Italian seasoning.
What else can I use this marinated goat cheese for?
In addition to being a wonderful appetizer, both the goat cheese and the oil can be used in lots of other ways:
- Spread the marinated goat cheese on toasted, whole-grain bread and serve with a jammy egg, delish!
- Place a round slice of marinated goat cheese on grilled chicken breasts. Tent the chicken to allow the cheese to get soft and melty. Drizzle some of the delicious, herby oil on top.
- Use the herbed goat cheese in a salad. For example, cut the log in thick slices and serve on a bed of greens with roasted beets. Add a splash of lemon juice to the oil and drizzle it over the salad. Top with toasted pine nuts.
- Use the marinated goat cheese as a sandwich spread.
- Crumble the marinated goat cheese on pizza after baking. Toss some arugula in a bit of the marinade oil and use it to top the pizza.
- Slice the goat cheese into rounds, place the rounds in a jar and pour the oil over the top. Give as a gift with a fresh baguette.
- When the cheese is gone, use the oil for dipping bread. Yum!
- Use the oil to drizzle over grilled chicken.
This marinated goat cheese is wonderful on warm crusty baguette slices but crackers are also delicious. I love to add a little bowl of toasted pine nuts on the side for a nice little crunch and added layer of flavor.
This marinated goat cheese will keep for up to a week refrigerated, but you probably won't have to worry about that as it will go fast!
Café Tips for making this Herb Marinated Goat Cheese
- You can also slice the goat cheese into rounds before marinating. Use a sharp knife that's been sprayed with cooking spray or use fishing line to cut the cheese.
- Most larger grocery stores carry logs of goat cheese. Sometimes it's also called chèvre.
- Use a good quality olive oil for this recipe. I really like Colavita Premium for a good quality grocery store olive oil. I also use Costco's Kirkland brand (which btw, is recommended by Samin Nosrat, the highly esteemed chef and author of the book (and documentary) "Salt Fat Acid Heat".
- I use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil for this recipe. Look for the prettiest, brightest red jars when purchasing sun-dried tomatoes.
- Have you noticed that lemons can be ridiculously expensive? My local grocery store charges anywhere from 89 cents to $1.29, yikes! I always pick up a bag or two of lemons when I'm at Trader Joe's. They're much more reasonably priced, they're also small (nice for garnishes) and super juicy. Plus I love having a pretty bowl of lemons on my counter - it's like having a little sunshine in my kitchen (without having to rob a bank).
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoon finely minced fresh herbs divided (see the post above for herb options)
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic halved and sliced paper-thin
- half of a small lemon halved and thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6- ounce log goat cheese
- toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)
Combine olive oil, half of the fresh herbs, half of the sun-dried tomatoes, the garlic, lemon slices and salt in a small bowl or ramekin, (just big enough to hold the log of goat cheese).
Combine the reserved herbs and sun-dried tomatoes and spread them to an even layer on a cutting board. Roll the goat cheese log in the herbs and pat gently so they adhere.
Place the goat cheese into the oil mixture and spoon some of the oil over the cheese. Allow the goat cheese to marinate for an hour at room temperature or several hours in the refrigerator. Spoon some of the oil over the cheese several times while it marinates.
Sprinkle the cheese with a bit of sea salt and serve at room temperature with crackers or thickly cut baguette slices. (If you’ve refrigerated the goat cheese pull it out 45 minutes before serving.)
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips.
For the baguette slices, cut into half-inch slices and brush lightly with oil. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until just started to turn golden
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