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fromages de chèvre mariné

Marinated Goat Cheese

Marinating goat cheese at home is an easy project, all you need is a glass jar, olive oil, goat cheese, herbs and a few spices. The marinated goat cheese is especially delicious when broiled until melty and served on warm toasts in a salad, which is what I made with this batch of fromages de chèvre mariné.  
Traditionally small firm goat cheeses are used in this recipe but I had a log of fresh chèvre from Laura Chenel which is more on the soft side of goat cheeses.  I used a string to cut 4 rounds out of an 8 ounce original log of goat cheese.  I gently but firmly pressed the rounds into flatter shapes before stacking them in the jars and pouring in the olive oil marinade.  The leftover marinade  can be used to brush the toasts and make the balsamic salad dressing for the salades.  As you use the cheeses more can be added to the marinade.
I'm throwing in a few French words to drive my spell check crazy, a fun activity during our months of quarantine.

Here are the recipes for the marinated goat cheese, a favorite balsamic vinaigrette for the greens, and a how to put the salades together.

Marinated Goat Cheese
makes 4 rounds

1 fresh Laura Chenel goat cheese 8 ounces log, cut in 4 pieces and gently pressed to flatten and compress
4 dried bay leaves
2 teaspoons mixed color dried peppercorns
Fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary or basil
1 & 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil, I used a mixture of olive oils; jalapeño infused, sweet basil infused and a classic Italian style

Place the goat cheese rounds in a glass jar, I used 2 smaller size jars, and add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and herbs.  Pour in the olive oil or oils, using enough to cover the cheeses.  Cover with a lid and place in a cool place for at least two weeks.  The cheeses are good for up to a month and as you use them, more cheeses can be added to the marinade.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
makes enough for 4 salad servings

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons olive oil from the goat cheese marinade
6 ounces salad greens, I use arugula for the marinated goat cheese salads

Place the mustard, shallot, garlic and vinegar in a salad bowl and whisk together, gradually whisk in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified and thick.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  The greens can be added before serving.

Marinated Goat Cheese Salad with tomatoes and sweet basil
makes 4 servings

Sliced sourdough or French baguette, toasted and enough for four servings, I put extra toasts on the table for serving
Olive oil marinade for brushing on the toasts
Greens in a salad bowl with vinaigrette ready to dress the greens
2 sliced tomatoes
4-6 basil good size leaves, torn into small pieces
4 marinated goat cheeses, removed from the marinade

Heat the broiler, place the goat cheese rounds on a piece of aluminum foil and broil them until browned and bubbly, keep a close eye on them.  Optional idea, a pinch of dried fines herbs on top of goat cheese rounds before broiling.
Toss the greens with the vinaigrette, add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary 
Place the cheese on a slice of toasted sourdough or baguette brushed with olive oil marinade.
Plate the dressed greens, sliced tomatoes with a  sprinkle of  basil leaves on four plates.  Place a goat cheese toast on each plate, serve extra toasts at the table.


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