Baked Goat Cheese

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.

Baked Goat Cheese :: Sunday Morning Sugar

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.

Baked Goat Cheese :: Sunday Morning Sugar

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:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Start with a thin layer of your olive oil in the bottom of a ramekin.
  2. Next, add 3-4 whole, unpeeled tomatoes from a can of San Marzano tomatoes.
  3. On top of those, add your butter (break it up as you crumble it in), garlic, walnuts, and half of your herbs.
  4. Give it a good stir and crush up your tomatoes as you go.  You want everything to be well-dispersed.
  5. Arrange your goat cheese in an even layer across the top of your tomato mixture.  Top with half your remaining herbs.
  6. 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 :).

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