This appetizer is my favorite go-to recipe for cocktail parties: it travels easily and you can make it ahead. The recipe is from Fine Cooking (my favorite cooking magazines, along with Cooks Illustrated). I have adjusted the amount of rosemary in the flatbread to less than what they call for, because I’m not crazy about rosemary, so you can add more if you are a rosemary-lover. I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet it would be good with a mixture of fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano, too, but only if you were serving with plain goat cheese or other cheeses. I took a ton of pictures because they are such beautiful dishes and because I know not everyone is comfortable with making a dough that requires kneading. Don’t be scared! It is incredibly easy once you start and get a feel for it. ☺ And, you can always just buy some French bread, flatbread crackers or, a personal favorite of mine, the Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Crackers, to serve with the goat cheese. I guarantee that all the cheese (and the oil) will be gone by the end of the night if you serve it with anything it can be spread on. If you are lucky enough to have any oil leftover, just pour it into a little plastic container (throwaway the rosemary sprigs) and it will keep in the fridge for a week or so. It is a dangerous snack to have on hand, as my waistline will be only too willing to show you.
Marinated Goat Cheese with Lemon and Herbs
4 oz. log of fresh goat cheese, plain, sliced into 6 equal rounds
2 tsp. (loosely packed) lemon zest
2 Tbsp. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, finely chopped
2 tsp. capers, drained & rinsed, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
Sea salt or kosher salt (fleur de sel is best, if you have it)
3 rosemary sprigs
½ cup (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
Crostini, good-quality crackers or flatbread for serving
18 oz. (3 cups) Semolina flour (available at specialty Italian grocers)
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1-2/3 cups water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for finished bread
Whisk the dry ingredients with the rosemary, make a well in the center. Add the water and oil into the well and, using a fork in the same motion you would use to scramble eggs, pull the flour mixture into the water mixture until a mass forms. and mix by hand to form a smooth dough. Knead about 2 minutes; do not overmix. Wrap in plastic and let rest about 1 hour.
Cut dough balls about 2 oz each and roll cracker thin. Bake on a baking stone at 475 degrees F until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
I am in New York City this weekend, attending my favorite cousin’s wedding. Wish me luck with the reading –a tough Wallace poem!- and I’ll be back next Tuesday.
In the meantime, please go check out Pauline’s great video that she submitted for a tourism contest in Cleveland, Ohio. Truly, with OHmommy around: Cleveland Rocks!!!
And.... I am still trying to figure out how to nicely lay out photos when there are tons of them, so please forgive me if they are scattered all over! If you want to see the pictures bigger, justclick on them.