Creamy goat cheese bathed in olive oil and flavored with fresh thyme, bay leaves, garlic and mixed peppercorns turns a crusty piece of country wheat bread into an elegant appetizer perfect with a glass of crisp white wine or a young red wine. This tangy cheese reminds me of cream cheese, has a lower fat content, but still the silky feel of a higher fat soft cheese. Goat cheese has been made for centuries in the Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and African countries where goats survive far better than cows in mountainous and harsh terrains. When we think of goat cheese, (or is it goats cheese, goat's cheese or goats' cheese?), we usually think of France, in fact the French word for goat is Chèvre and has become a generic term for goat cheese.
And it's to France we go on our culinary journey through the European Community Culinary ABC. E is for Escargot and E is also for Elena of Zibaldone Culinario who prepares for us an Escargot Bourguignon and a lovely tour of France with beautiful photos. However, Elena cooks not only the escargot dish, but numerous other French dishes well worth a look.
This recipe is so simple, you will wonder why you have never made it before. Not only can you use the marinated goat cheese as a spread for bread, but it can be crumbled over salads, made into a salad dressing, as a pizza topping, or incorporated into a pasta dish.
Marinated Goat Cheese
- 4-2 ounce fresh goat cheese logs, or 4-ounce logs, cut in half
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns
In a sterilized wide mouth jar, carefully place the goat cheese logs. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the logs completely. Tuck in the bay leaves, bay leaves, fresh thyme and peppercorns. Cover the jar.
Cover and marinate the cheese logs in the refrigerator for 2 days or up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serves 2-4 generously.
A few summers ago, I had the opportunity to visit Aix-en-Provence and stayed in a lovely French Country private home. Below are some iPhone photos of the house and its environs. While there, we shopped the markets for fresh vegetables, meats and seafood as well as flowers, crafts and other things French. We decided to use train travel as our main means of traveling from one city or village to another. It was a lovely experience that I would love to do again.
Please do not use images or text without my permission.