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Goat cheese marinated and served three ways: 1) with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh herbs; 2) with mushrooms, parsley, and minced garlic; and 3with beets, candied walnuts, and preserved lemon.

I have tried marinating goat cheese several times now, each time using different combinations. The first time I based them pretty closely on a delicious-looking recipe I found on Epicurious, and the next time I tried some of my own combinations.  It will take you a couple of hours to make all three, but it is well worth the time. They make a beautiful presentation, and I don’t think I’ve ever served a more complimented appetizer. You can make them up to three days in advance of serving them. This is nice when you’re having a party because there are always so many other things that can’t be done until right before.

The great thing about this idea is the sky is the limit – you can marinate the goat cheeses with almost any ingredients that sound good to you. The ones listed here are my three favorites. I actually prefer using shitakes in the mushroom one, but my husband prefers the porcinis so it really depends on personal preference. The first two are based on the original recipe while the third is one of my own creation.

The three marinades listed below offer a nice range and diversity of flavours. There is something for every palette here: fans of strong flavours such as rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted garlic will prefer the herb one, those who love mushrooms will appreciate the delicious earthy flavour of the porcinis, and those who prefer something sweeter will gravitate toward the beet and candied walnut combination (when I served this last weekend, a couple of people were convinced there were cranberries in this one). Most guests will enjoy tasting them all. 

Trio of Goat Cheeses Tops 3

INGREDIENTS:

2 large or 3 small logs of soft, unflavoured goat cheese

3 mason jars

Marinade #1

8-10 garlic cloves, separated with skin on

8-10 sun-dried tomatoes

8-10 sprigs of fresh rosemary

8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme

Roughly half a cup of quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Marinade #2

1 ounce dried porcini or shitake mushrooms

4 peeled garlic cloves

4 tablespoons fresh parsley

Roughly half a cup of quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Marinade #3

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

2-4 beets

2 teaspoons sliced preserved lemon

Half a cup candied walnuts

Roughly half a cup of macadamia oil (or another nut oil of your choice)

Trio of Goat Cheeses

DIRECTIONS:

1. Rinse and thoroughly dry mason jars. 

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Cut goat cheese logs into 12-15 rounds (roughly half an inch thick).  Place cutting board with round on it in the refrigerator while preparing the other ingredients. 

Goat Cheese Rounds 2

#1 Goat Cheese with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, and Fresh Herbs

Goat Cheese with Herbs

4. Place garlic on a pan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Bake about 20 minutes until garlic is tender and lightly browned.  Allow the cloves to cool, then peel.  

Roasted Garlic

5. Remove rosemary and thyme from their vines, leaving 2-3 intact for decoration.  

6. Place herbs, roasted garlic, and sundried tomatoes on a plate or cutting board in preparation for assembly. 

Herbs and Garlic

7. Put one or two sun-dried tomatoes, a garlic clove and some rosemary and thyme in the bottom of one of the mason jars. Drizzle with with extra virgin olive oil. I used the last of this delicious olive oil I brought home from Spain.  

Olive Oil

8. Place a cheese round inside the mason jar and continue layering with remaining the sund-dried tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and as many cheese rounds that fit comfortably in the jar with room for the other ingredients on top.  Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil between each layer. 

Trio fo Goat Cheese Assembly 2

9. Place whole springs decoratively around the perimeter of the jar. Pour in enough olive oil to fill the jar to the top, then seal it tightly and refrigerate.

Goat Cheese with Herbs Top

#2 Goat Cheese with Mushrooms, Parsley, and Fresh Garlic

Goat Cheese with Porcini

10. Rinse porcini or shitake mushrooms under cold water in a sieve, then drain and place them in a bowl. Pour enough boiling water over them to cover the mushrooms and let them sit for 30 minutes (until soft). 

Dried Porcini Mushrooms

11. Mince garlic cloves and sautee in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil on medium-low heat until cooked but not crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Drain mushrooms and add them to the mixture for another 2-3 minutes. 

Parsley

12. Chop parsley and add to the pan, stirring until mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. All this mixture to cool for a few moments before layering this with the cheese.  

Porcinis, Garlic, and Parsley

13. Layer mushroom mixture and remaining goat cheese in the last mason jar, drizzling with olive oil in between each layer. Fill jar to the top with olive oil and seal tightly. 

Goat Cheese with Porcinis Top

#3 Goat Cheese with Beets, Candied Walnuts, and Preserved Lemon

Goat Cheese with Beets Side

14. Scrub beets until clean, leaving roots and 2 inches of stem on.  Boil in a large pot of water with one teaspoon of vinegar in it for 30 – 45 minutes until tender (depending on size of beets). Remove and run under cold water, then slip off the skins, stems and ends. Let cool and dice into small cubes. 

Beets Whole

15. Chop and slice preserved lemon into small pieces. There are many ways to preserve lemons. I used this lovely recipe from Kellie’s Food to Glow, but you can also buy them in specialty food stores.  

Preserved Lemon

16. Chop candied walnuts, leaving a few intact. 

Candied Walnuts

17. Layer beets, walnuts, and preserved lemons with the rest of the goat cheese rounds in the last mason jar, drizzling each layer with macadamia nut oil. Pour in enough macadamia nut oil to fill the jar completely, then seal tightly and refrigerate.

Goat Cheese with Beets Top

18. Take the jars out of the fridge an hour or two before serving to allow them to soften a little. This will also give the oil a chance to clear, which makes for a nicer presentation.

Trio of Goat Cheeses Original

19. You can pour each of these onto decorative plates when you are ready to eat them, or serve them right in their jars. I like to serve them in their jars on a cutting board with a knife or spoon for each. They go equally well with bread or crackers, but I like them best with crostini.

Goat Cheese Trio 1

 

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10 thoughts on “RECIPE // Goat Cheese Trio

  1. What beautiful and flavour-packed appetiser ideas! Love all of the savoury, tangy goodness in these jars. And thank for linking to me and my preserved lemon recipe. I’m glad it was useful to you. So easy!

    • Thank you! I love your preserved lemon recipe. So great on soups and salads and anything else I might otherwise use lemon zest for. They are so pretty, I actually gave a couple to friends as gifts.

  2. wow–at first I thought this was another restaurant dish. Nicely done! Can see why it would bring in so many compliments. Like one type of goat cheese dish isn’t good enough–you made it three times as amazing 😀 Definitely a stomach-growling post.

  3. Thank you for sharing three great ideas for goat cheese. I can’t really decide which one i love most…I love sun dried tomatoes so maybe the one with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh herbs, is the best of the three for me. I have bookmarked the trio.

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