Goat’s cheese; we are going back about 30 years and I can’t say we had a great realationship. First time I ever tasted goat’s cheese was in 1972 up in the hills above Menton , Cote d’Azur (South of France). A very romantic dinner, at a converted farm (trying to find the name of the place) – really lovely place . The starter was severed in wheelbarrow that was rolled up to the table filled with most delicious pates, cold meats, vegetables (raw and pickled), salads and cheeses, we helped our self to what we wanted and I took a piece of the goats cheese – didn’t have a clue what it was. So when putting a piece of the cheese in my mouth – it just grown on me and it was with big difficulties I manage to get it down. After that indecent I have stayed away from goat’s cheese since about 10 years ago and now I love it – eat so soon as I see it on a menu. My favourite starter after fresh foie gras.
This a hearty cracking dish – that can be done to 80% in advance.
Goat’s cheese baked in a spicy tomato sauce with garlic crostini, 8 portions
1 kg ripe plum tomatoes, halved – bought at least 4 days before usage
60ml (4tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
30ml (2tbsp) balsamic vinegar
45ml (3tbsp) runny honey
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10ml (2rtsp) dried crushed chillies
5-6 fresh thyme springs
45ml (3tbsp) tomato pure
salt & pepper
1 large French stick, baguette – cut into 16 thick sliced
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and whole
250gr fresh goat’s cheese log, rind on
1. Preheat the oven 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the tomatoes halves in a shallow baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey – then scatter over: garlic, chillies, half the thyme and seasoning – bake for about 30 min.
2. Place the roasted tomatoes in a food processor and blend. Add the tomato puree, then taste and add more honey if needed – seasoning off.
Up to here – can be done well ahead. Can be frozen for a rainy day too.
3. Preheat the grill – to make the crostini, brush bread slices with olive oil – then grill until golden and crispy. Rube the garlic clove over each slice. Crostini’s can be made 2 days in advanced and be keep in an airtight container.
4. Place the tomato sauce in 8 indv. ramekins – oven proofed. Slice the goat’s chees into rounds and place on top of the sauce. Drizzle with a little olive oil over, strip the leaves from the remaining thyme springs and sprinkle over.
5. Bake at 200C/400/Gas 6 for 10-15 min until the cheese turns golden brown on top and the sauce is warm. Serve with the crostini’s.
Photos provided by: Georgia Glynn Smith / furrytalk.com