When it comes to cheese, some people adore a strong, pungent smell and taste while others prefer something milky and mild. And some people like it all! Whatever your preference, goat cheese can satisfy just about any craving with marvelous, tempting recipes such as Goat Cheese and Leek Quiche and Turkey and Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Tangy Apple Slaw.
Goat cheese can be milky, creamy, tangy, pungent, earthy or strong tasting. Its texture ranges from soft to creamy to crumbly, semi-firm, or firm, and it can be fresh or aged, marinated, rolled in herbs, edible flowers, a variety of spices or other pairings including chocolate! You can buy it as a disc, a slice of a wheel, a whole wheel or a log.
Get familiar with the world of goat cheese by stopping by the specialty department of your local Whole Foods Market where you can talk with a team member about the many varieties on hand and try a sampling to help you determine which you prefer. Whatever you choose, you can make delicious sauces, gratins, salads, dips and more. Here are some tips and recipes:
If you like hard, cheddar-like cheese, aged goat cheeses are perfect for grating or slicing and using as you would any favorite hard cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches, this Cast-Iron Skillet Pizza, Goat Cheese and Arugula Quesadillas or Roasted Red Peppers with Goat Cheese.
If you prefer soft, spreadable cheese, young goat cheese is ideal for salads, dips, sauces and spreads. Ideas include stirring into hot pasta or scrambled eggs, spreading over bagels in place of cream cheese, and making Herb and Garlic Goat Cheese Dip or Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin.
Make wraps, sandwiches and quesadillas like Grilled Veggie and Goat Cheese Pitas or Grilled Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Prosciutto Sandwiches.
Add goat cheese to a variety of salads such as Steak and Goat Cheese Salad, Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing, Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette, and Almond Crusted Goat Cheese over mixed greens.
Use crumbled or grated goat cheese as a garnish.
Pair goat cheese with dark chocolate for a delicious treat.
Use crumbled goat cheese in place of, or along with, feta cheese.
Remember to keep goat cheese wrapped tightly in plastic or wax paper. Store it in the refrigerator in a re-sealable plastic bag, pressing out all of the air before sealing. For the best flavor, let it come to room temperature before serving.
My favorite is mild and buttery Murcia Curado Naked Goat Cheese, made in the Murcia region of Spain from unpasteurized goat milk. Do you have a favorite goat cheese or a recipe you’d like to share? Let me know.