This past weekend my husband Nate and I were invited to a dinner party and I offered to bring an appetizer. I wanted to share with you one of my all-time favorites that is super easy, but looks and tastes oh so fancy. One of the great things about having a large family is that we get to share wonderful recipes. Many years back I had the pleasure of having dinner with my cousin and her husband and she shared a fabulous appetizer with us that has been one of my go-to starters ever since.
I LOVE goat cheese. I love its’ tangy, cool flavor and also that it marries beautifully with both sweet and savory components. I put it in everything from salads to shepherd’s pie and it is always perfect. This appetizer takes almost no time to throw together, other than roasting the garlic, and warming the baguettes, and it’s a hit every single time. You can use any kind of olives that you’d like and although I usually buy my olives from the fresh olive bar at our local supermarket, I was in a time crunch on Friday and bought jarred, sliced olives which is a great time saver. So here goes. Get ready to be an appetizer champion!!
Goat Cheese with Roasted garlic and Olives:
- Two large logs of fresh goat cheese ( I use one plain and one with garlic and herbs)
- Julienne sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 Jar Kalamata olives (pitted or pitted and sliced)
- 1 Jar large Spanish queen olives with or without pimentos pitted and sliced
- 5-6 Fresh basil leaves cleaned and cut into strips (I use kitchen shears to cut them)
- 6-7 Large cloves of garlic peeled and cut into small pieces
- Olive oil (you can also use grape seed oil and it can be infused, basil infused is particularly fabulous)
- 1 or 2 Fresh crusty baguettes warmed and thinly sliced. Crackers can also be used or gluten free baguettes
- Salt and Fresh ground pepper
Clean and slice your garlic into small chunks. Put them in an oven safe pan and pour in your oil until the cloves are completely covered. Cover the dish with foil and roast at 275 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, but check frequently so that the garlic does not burn. When it is done it will be fragrant and a beautiful golden caramel color. Cool the garlic and oil. While roasting the garlic assemble your other ingredients. Place the goat cheese in a dish with small sides, top it with plenty of sliced olives. Cut the julienne sun-dried tomatoes into smaller pieces and layer them on top of the olives. Pour the cooled garlic and oil over the cheese and olive mixture. Top with chopped basil and plenty of kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve with the warm, sliced baguette.
I hope that you love this as much as we do!!! It pairs perfectly with red, white, or rose wine, or your favorite cocktail. Happy hour is here, so that’s my dish!!