I'm slipping in just under the wire for I Heart Cooking Clubs very first week of cooking with Mark Bittman! This week's theme is Bites of Bittman, where we are encouraged to pick "appetizers or small plates of his delicious food to pass around and share" -- sounds good to me :)
I was browsing How To Cook Everything Vegetarian and saw a recipe for Baked Goat Cheese, which Mark calls a restaurant staple, surprisingly fast and easy to prepare at home. Wonderful! I love goat cheese, and almost always have a log in the fridge. I use it all the time, tossed on pasta or salad or in tarts and baked casseroles, but I've never attempted those cute little goat cheese medallions that mainly top salads or are served as appetizers at restaurants.
Baked Goat Cheese
6 ounces goat cheese, cut into 8 slices or molded into 8 patties
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil -- I measured this amount out but used less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper -- I used Mediterranean Sea Salt and left off the pepper
¼ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs like basil, chives, parsley, chervil, tarragon, or thyme -- I used mixed dried Italian herbs
½ cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh -- yes sir, fresh bread crumbs made from homemade Italian herb bread, yum!
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Brush the cheese slices with the olive oil ans sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the mixed herbs,
then coat with the bread crumbs.
Put on a baking sheet and bake the cheese until it's golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes. Let rest for just a couple minutes and serve warm.
Absolutely delicious! I have to admit I was expecting the bread crumbs to brown a touch more, and then I thought to myself, ahh, I was thinking deep friend goat cheese medallions, not baked. Even though they didn't look quite like I expected, they tasted just right, nice crispy crunch bread crumbs surrounding warm gooey goat cheese. I ended up using a couple to top some left over spaghetti with san marzano sauce -- last nights supper, gussied up for lunch -- and now I don't know how I ever ate spaghetti and sauce without baked goat cheese rounds on top!