Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just curious, but how has it taken me until I was thirty years-old to really appreciate the mild, creamy splendor that is goat cheese?! I started to like it about a decade ago when J made a fantastic tart that had a layer of goat cheese on the bottom and was topped with roasted vegetables. Alas, he only made it once or twice, and I was positive I'd never like goat cheese as a stand-alone.

When we lived in Hillsboro, Bugatti's had a fantastic pizza called The Goatherder (which I see they've replaced with a Thai Chicken pizza...sad), but again, I thought I would only ever like goat cheese in combination with other flavors.

Recently, I'd had it in a few more appetizers where the flavor of the cheese itself was the standout, and I had an a-ha moment. Now, I've gone a little goat cheese crazy. I'm not saying I eat it every day, but I am saying that I've been eating it as opposed to other cheeses I may have had in its place; Mixed greens with strawberries and crumbles of goat cheese drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette for lunch one day, a Rustic Goat Cheese and Roasted Vegetable tart with side salad for dinner another night, then last night, when craving a snack, I pulled out my log o' cheese, and portioned off 1 ounce (only 80 calories!) and a few Stacy's bare naked pita chips. The goat cheese paired with my Malbec very nicely if I do say so myself (and probably did a whole lot less damage than a bowl of ice cream).

So, if you're looking for a melt in your mouth cheese with a little tang that compliments a plethora of flavors, look no further than your grocer's cheese case and snatch up a log of your own; you won't be sorry.

The following recipe can be adapted to whatever vegetables you have on-hand that you think would taste good after roasting. Also, where I used low-fat ricotta, the recipe used cream cheese but, again, it was what I had on-hand.

If you use the pre-made crust, it took less than 15 minutes of hands-on time, so you could make this even when you're trying to multi-task at dinner time.

Rustic Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Tart:

1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1/4-1/2 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1-2 tsp italian seasonings, or whatever herbs you desire for roasting
1 ready-made pie crust (the kind that come rolled-up) or make your own favorite crust.
4 oz. goat cheese
1/3. low-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg.
2T shredded parmesan cheese
Salt* and Pepper to taste (while roasting)

Slice thinly the zucchini and summer squash, red onion and red pepper, toss with olive oil and whatever herbs you want and roast at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime
Unroll a storebought pie crust into pie plate. Mix goat cheese
and ricotta cheeses and then add the egg. Spread as a single layer on the crust, then sprinkle the parmesan cheese.

Top cheese mixture with roasted veggies and fold in edges of crust (hence the 'rustic'), brush exposed crust with lightly beaten egg white and bake for 20 minutes, still at 400.

Bon apetit!

*I don't really like salt, and since I felt like the cheeses were salty enough and my veggies were not 'wet' ones, I omitted the salt, and thought it was perfect.


Crafty Mama said...

I am definitely going to make this next time I have someone over who will eat it with me! I love goat cheese, it was an acquired taste for me but now I really enjoy it.

Maggie Bahnson said...

I'm a goat cheese gal, and this recipe looks fantastic and easy to prepare. Easy is what I need! Thanks for sharing it!