a goat cheese obsession

I want to show you guys some pretty awesome food I’ve been making the last couple days. It all has goat cheese in it! Awesome, right? At least if you like goat cheese. WHICH I DO. (Case in point: I have a cookbook in my house right now which is devoted entirely to goat cheese.)

So the first thing I made (2 nights ago) was like a vegetable & goat cheese flatbread pizza thing. Kind of hard to explain. Here, maybe this mediocre photo will help:

It’s a flatbread spread with goat cheese and then topped with sauteed zucchini and portobello mushrooms, baked in the oven a few minutes to warm it up …. then topped with “spring mix” salad greens and a little more crumbled goat cheese, and drizzled with my current favorite lemon vinaigrette.

I had no idea how to eat this thing that my brain had created. I ended up cutting it into wedges and eating it like pizza. It was really, really good. And simple. Aaaaand, vegetarian!

Then tonight I made goat cheese salad.

There’s a story behind this one.

A couple of months ago Ben and I went to Uno’s, a restaurant which is surprisingly awesome since it is a chain. They had a new kind of salad which I tried and instantly became obsessed with. Field greens, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and lemon-basil vinaigrette = amaaaaazing!! Quite possibly the best salad I’ve ever had.

A few weeks later I found myself at Uno’s — again. Eating goat cheese salad — again. And I thought I owed it to myself and my budget to figure out how to make it on my own.

So all you need are “spring mix” salad greens, walnuts (candied if you want — or just toast them, they’re delish without the sugar too), plain goat cheese, and lemon vinaigrette (my recipe below).

I get my goat cheese at Trader Joe’s. For $6 you get a lot — the brand is Silver Goat. Although there are lots of tantalizing flavors, I usually buy the plain kind because it’s so versatile. This time I also picked up a package of dried “tart montmorency cherries” to try.

The salad is crazy easy to make. Just plop some salad greens in a bowl or on a plate, sprinkle with the toasted (or candied) walnuts and crumble plenty of the goat cheese on top. (Add the dried cherries or other dried fruit here if you’re doing that.) Then drizzle with the vinaigrette and you’re set to OM NOM NOM yourself into goat cheese bliss.

Now about the vinaigrette. I don’t know how close I am to Uno’s version, which is incredible, but this version is very good in my opinion. I got the original recipe from Martha Stewart, then made some changes. It’s definitely the best-tasting homemade vinaigrette I’ve been able to make so far.

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

1 tsp honey mustard (dijon mustard also works)
1-1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (sad to say I often skip this out of pure laziness)
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Dried or fresh oregano and basil to your taste
6 Tbsp olive oil
A tiny drizzle of honey — optional — if you want a bit more sweetness

Combine all together and shake/stir/whisk until thickened. If you whisk it well it comes together and makes a beautiful, creamy lemon-colored dressing.

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And now, some sad news. Unfortunately, it is the time of year when my life is completely swallowed up in my job at summer camp. When I stop having time to make goat cheese salads and instead I eat camp food for three months. When I work approximately 80 hours a week and have absolutely no time for blogging — and “At Home With Bethany” become kind of irrelevant anyway since I’m practically never home.

So you may not see me on here very often for the next three months or so. If I’m able to drop in here from time to time with some pictures or something, then – hooray! But if not, then you will know what I am up to. And I will be back as soon as I can, with many things to share. Because there will be things going on. Someone I love very much is going to be turning 30 this summer (oh who could it beeeee??) and I hope to throw a great party for him. I’m also going to be diving into a total redesign of my living room (all 16 square feet of it, or whatever it is — hah) in the fall, and then there will be pictures from our planned vacation to Saugatuck, Michigan in August! So lots of good posts to look forward to writing (if you’re me) and reading (if you’re you).

So, see you around. For now I hope I’ve at least got you addicted to goat cheese. Hah. I’m devious like that!

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6 comments

  1. Rachel

    Your recipes look soooo yummy! I am incredibly disappointed in myself; there are very few foods I dislike, PARTICULARLY when it comes to cheese, but as of yet I have been unable to fall in love with goat cheese!! I do love feta, however, and feel that could substitute until I convince my tastebuds otherwise. =) I will def have to try both of the things you posted.

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