Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Goat Cheese Summer

Goat Cheese Summer? O.K. folks, before you think I've lost my mind, let me give you a little insight into how it works -- my mind, that is. The phrase, "goat cheese summer" is one of my favorite mnemonics. It helps me to remember a very important sentence in Japanese -- "Gochiso (goat cheese) sama (summer) deshta. Arigato gozaimasta." Which just happens to translate to: "Thank you very much for the food." So, thank the crazy workings of my mind for today's goat cheese recipes. I'm off to ponder the connections between Japanese language and Greek food. ;)

Bon Appétit!

Chévre Mini Boules

Prep/Total Time: 50 Minutes · Serves: 6

The classic "cheese ball" appetizer is elevated to visual and flavorful new heights with the switch to soft, fresh tasting goat cheese and zesty spring herbs.


  • 1 large head garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 31/2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 11/2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
  • 11/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 11/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • Dash sugar
  • 12 oz. Ile de France® La Búchette Goat cheese
  • French baguette, sliced


  • Separate garlic cloves from the head, leaving the skin on, and boil for four minutes. Drain, peel and mince garlic and shallot, and sauté in oil until golden.
  • Keep garlic mixture in pan, and drain and discard oil or save for another use. Add vinegar, rosemary, thyme, pepper and sugar to pan and cook for 3 minutes until liquid is evaporated.
  • Crumble goat cheese in medium bowl, add garlic mixture and stir until combined. Shape into 22 balls.
  • Place parsley, peppercorns and sesame seeds in 3 separate bowls, and roll balls in mixtures as desired. Serve with crusty French bread slices.

Recipe Notes: Boiling the garlic makes peeling easier; more importantly, it reduces the strong garlic impact while enhancing its natural nutty, sweet garlicky flavor.

Creamy Asparagus & Goat Cheese Risotto

Prep Time: 15 minutes · Total Time: 50 Minutes · Serves: 6

Luscious, tangy goat cheese creates a fresh, creamy sauce, while Parmigiano Reggiano adds nutty flavor.


  • 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth, heated to a simmer and kept warm
  • 1 1/4 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2" lengths
  • 4 oz. Ile de France® Goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 oz. Il Villaggio® Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely shredded (1 cup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano for serving


  • In a large (4 qt.) nonstick stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add wine and cook just until absorbed. Add enough broth to just barely cover rice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and adding broth as needed, 12 minutes.
  • Add asparagus; cook, continuing to gradually add broth and stirring more frequently, 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender and rice is cooked through but still has "bite." Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano. Cover and let stand 3 minutes. Stir well before serving with freshly ground black pepper and additional Parmigiano Reggiano.

Mediterranean Fresh Herbed Focaccia

Prep Time: 25 minutes · Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes · serves: 8


  • 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) rapid rise yeast
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves, divided
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, divided
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup gourmet mixed olives, pitted and sliced (or use black olives)
  • 2 oz. Ile de France® Chèvre en Salade crumbled goat cheese (1/2 cup)


  • In a small bowl, combine 1 cup warm water (see tip below), yeast and sugar. Set aside until yeast starts to foam, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor, mince the herbs and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup herbs and 1 tsp. salt. (Reserve remaining quantities of these ingredients until the last step.) With machine running on low, add yeast mixture and 1/4 cup oil, and beat until mixed. Add remaining flour and mix just until flour is incorporated. Replace paddle attachment with dough hook, scraping paddle to remove all dough. Process on medium high for 10 minutes, occasionally scraping dough from the side of the bowl.
  • Drizzle 1 tsp. oil over the surface of the dough. Rub to coat completely. Cover and let rest 30 minutes in a warm location.
  • Lightly spray 2 sheet pans with cooking oil spray. Cut dough into four even sized pieces. Place dough in the pans and spread by hand to make four 9"x5" rectangles. Brush surfaces with 1 tsp. of oil, cover and let rest 20 minutes in a warm location. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Brush dough again with remaining oil. Using fingers or the end of a wooden spoon, make indentations over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Bake for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with olives, remaining herbs and Chévre. Bake for 3-5 more minutes or until golden brown, slice each piece into fourths and serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tip: The water should be between 120°F and 130°F to allow the yeast to grow. In a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, heat 1 cup water on HIGH for 50 seconds.


"Δημήτριος ο Ταξιδευτής" said...

and a Greek easy recipe with rusks!
in creta it called "DAKOS"
5-6 pcs, greek rusks from wholebread.
1 cup extra vergin olive oil from creta.

1/2 pound feta cheese original from goat and sheep milk

2 red tomato

salt pepper oregano

in a large bowl you arrange the rusks, you add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over each one and you are await 5 minutes to absorb the oil.
then you cut the tomato and the feta in a finger thick slices and you put them on top of the rusks.
spring with salt pepper oregano and the they are ready to serve or eat...
choose a red dry wine...

covertress said...

Delicious! Thanks, brexians. ;D

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