We were very happy to see fresh Tucker’s Farm Goat’s Cheese at the farm last week, back after a seemingly long winter hiatus. Also bountiful at the vegetable stand and in the grocery stores of late, super nutritious locally grown beets.
Beets and goat’s cheese are a hot new couple, well matched because of the beets’ earthy sweetness and the cheese’s mild tanginess.
Here are two easy goats’ cheese recipes to try this spring!
Beet & Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium beets, cooked and quartered
6 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Set aside and cool.
Toss the arugula, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the salad atop 4 plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.
Goat Cheese Fondue – Serves 5 to 6 people
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced shallot
2 tbsp finely minced garlic
2 cups finely diced tomato
1 cup California red wine (Chef’s preference: Zinfandel or Merlot)
8 oz goat cheddar, grated (TIP: If desired, substitute with Florette goat Brie or goat Teleme.)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp fine herbes mix, coarsely chopped (NOTE: Commonly used in Mediterranean cooking, fine herbes is a blend of chevril, chives, parsley and tarragon.)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, heat oil on medium. Add shallot and garlic and saute until soft but not brown. Stir and look for translucence, approximately 4 minutes.
Stir in tomato and wine and simmer, stirring, until reduced to a light sauce, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, zest and fines herbes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Transfer mixture to a small baking or casserole dish and bake in center of oven until melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately with your choice of vegetables.