I like to browse in libraries and stumbled on a very old Italian cookbook years ago that didn’t have any pictures, but enticed me with stories of how each recipe would fit into the typical Italian family’s day. One of the them was simply goat cheese slices topped with olive oil that had been flavored with fresh oregano and garlic, and it would be available in the kitchen in the late afternoon for grazing while dinner was being prepared. Yum! I played with the recipe over the next few years and this is my kicked-up version.
I’ve actually seen guests compete for the last bite. It’s that good.
1 8 oz. log of goat cheese
1 tbsp. capers
1 2.25 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
2 green onions, thinly sliced
8-10 grape tomatoes, quartered
4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut longways in narrow slivers
1 tbsp oregano, chopped, plus 1-2 sprigs of whole leaves
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
At least an hour before serving, add the garlic and chopped oregano to the olive oil and let it sit at room temperature. Slice the goat cheese into 1/4 inch disks (click here for the best technique for slicing goat cheese) and arrange in a small serving platter or plate with a rim. Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, olives, green onions and grape tomatoes evenly over the goat cheese. Drizzle the olive oil mixture over the platter and garnish with the whole oregano leaves. Season liberally with freshly ground pepper and a little salt. Add more olive oil if desired. Serve with crackers or bread.
With its appealing colors and burst of Mediterranean flavors balanced by the tangy saltiness of the cheese, this dish is one of my family’s favorites. I serve it as an appetizer and it usually doesn’t even make it to the dining room. It is also a big hit at parties and can be made ahead and refrigerated; be sure to bring it to room temperature before serving. While leftovers are rare, they are terrific in a Sunday morning omelette.
Copyright 2015, Glover Gardens Cookbook