There is a restaurant in downtown Phoenix that I have a real love/hate relationship with. The first time I went I had the most delicious eggs I’ve ever eaten in my life. The second time I went, my eggs weren’t cooked when they came to the table….and I only realized this after I had eaten all the vegetables that were on top of them (when my server saw she gave me a new dish and paid for my meal). Because of the great service on the day of uncooked eggs, I decided to give it another shot. The third time I went, my food was just okay and very cha-CHING expensive. BUT the restaurant has a lot of items that are friendly to those who don’t eat meat and have trouble with gluten so when my brother’s girlfriend came to town, I decided to give it one more shot. We ordered the baked goat cheese and man-alive was it good. Everything else that came across our table was immediately doused in a large helping of the goat cheese and even after we were full we kept scraping the sides of the bowl wanting more.
I took some notes on what I thought was in the dish and did a little reconnaissance about baked goat cheese when I got home. Then, I tried to tackle my own version. It’s really easy and I actually had pretty much all of the ingredients on hand before I started. I made it with some Roasted fingerling potatoes (thanks Martha!) and it was a totally satisfying dinner for my mom and I. If you’ve never had goat cheese before, make this recipe immediately. It will change your life. Promise.
what you’ll need:
- 1/2 tsp. olive oil
- 3 whole, unpeeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/2 tbsp. butter, cut into tiny cubes
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp. roughly chopped walnuts
- 5-8 basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp. goat cheese
make the magic happen:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Start with a thin layer of your olive oil in the bottom of a ramekin.
- Next, add 3-4 whole, unpeeled tomatoes from a can of San Marzano tomatoes.
- On top of those, add your butter (break it up as you crumble it in), garlic, walnuts, and half of your herbs.
- Give it a good stir and crush up your tomatoes as you go. You want everything to be well-dispersed.
- Arrange your goat cheese in an even layer across the top of your tomato mixture. Top with half your remaining herbs.
- Put it in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until heated all the way through. The cheese should be extra melty and the tomatoes should be warm all the way through. Sprinkle the remaining herbs on top; serve immediately.
This is seriously so so delicious. You can use it as a dip for fingerling potatoes, french fries, warm french bread, crusty crostini, or even with just plain old crackers. It’s such a treat and if you pretend like there isn’t butter in it then it’s got a bit of a health factor too. After all, tomatoes and fresh herbs are definitely good for you :).