Baked Goat Cheese
Topped with savory tomato sauce, this appetizer will please everyone on your guest list.
- 11 ounces chevre goat cheese
- 5 ounces cream cheese
- Mixed herbs, chopped (thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley)
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, medium dice
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- Rosemary sprig
- Thyme sprig
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade**
- 2 tablespoons jalapeno, seeds removed
- 1 sweet yellow onion, medium dice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup Italian parsley
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno in the butter. When onions begin to brown, add tomatoes and herbs. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Meanwhile, soften the cheese and stir in fresh chopped herbs until evenly distributed. Form a ball with your hands and wrap cheese in plastic. Set aside.
Puree simmered tomato mixture in a high-powered blender or food processor until vegetables and liquid are thoroughly combined.
Rinse blender and reuse to combine butter, parsley, shallot, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper.
To serve: Pour 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in the basin of an ovenproof dish. Place cheese ball in the center, and pour the remaining tomato sauce around the perimeter of the cheese. Top with herb butter and bake in a 500°F oven or 350°F convection oven for 5 minutes or until sauce bubbles and cheese softens.
Serve with toasted bread with herb butter.
** Chiffonade is a chopping technique in which herbs or leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and basil) are cut into long, thin strips. This is accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll. "Chiffonade" means little ribbons in French, referring to the little ribbons you create while cutting.