Parmesan Coated Goat Cheese with Basil Oil

Oh goat cheese, how I love thee. I wish others shared my enthusiasm. I'm not sure what it is that makes folks shy away from goat cheese. Maybe it's the word goat that's not so appetizing. Personally, I fell in love with goat cheese while I was studying abroad in France five years ago. At parties, they would serve small bites of goat cheese with all sorts of fresh herbs sprinkled on top. To my amazement, I found similar bite size goat cheese with herbs at Costco. They are delicious! The perfect snack or appetizer. 

Now for this little beauty...

I came across this recipe and couldn't wait to try it. Ryan liked it, but me, I was giddy with how delicious it was. The tanginess of the goat cheese, the bite of the raw garlic, the crispness of the fresh basil, all piled on top of freshly baked buttery bread...it's almost too much to handle. So good! And the presentation, look at that beautiful green color. If you love goat cheese or you're feeling brave, you've gotta try this recipe. You won't be sorry. Although, I can't guarantee that you won't ruin your dinner by finishing off this "appetizer" in one sitting, it's that good.

I did a few things differently from Annie's version. Annie's version calls for plain goat cheese, but I used an herb-flavored goat cheese from Trader Joe's. I also used 5 oz. of cheese, instead of 4 oz. She recommends running the oil through a sieve, but I didn't have one and I liked the basil leaves left in the oil. 

Start by blending parmesan cheese and panko in a food processor to form a crumb coating.

Then mix together goat cheese, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper.

Form the cheese mixture into a ball, then roll around to coat with panko mixture. Chill in the fridge.

Blanch basil leaves, then mince in food processor with garlic. Add the olive oil.  

Pour the basil olive oil onto a plate. Place goat cheese in the center and garnish with basil leaves. 

Serve with fresh, thinly sliced French bread. Try to share with others.

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Parmesan Coated Goat Cheese with Basil Oil Recipe

Recipe adapted from Annie Eats

For the cheese:

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 oz. semi-firm goat cheese with herbs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

For the basil oil:

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pulse parmesan in a food processor a few times. Then add panko and pulse until both ingredients are finely ground. Season crumb mixture with freshly ground black pepper, then set aside on a plate or in a shallow dish.

Place the goat cheese in a small bowl. Mince the garlic. Sprinkle the salt over the minced garlic and mash with the side of a knife until it becomes paste-like. Add the garlic paste to the goat cheese. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Stir the cheese mixture until well blended. Use your hands to form the cheese mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the parmesan/panko mixture, until entirely coated. Place the coated cheese ball onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge.

Now it's time to make the basil oil. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the basil leaves to the pot and boil for 30 seconds. Remove basil from boiling water and place into a bowl of ice water. Remove the basil from the ice water and pat dry with paper towels. Add the basil and garlic clove to the food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Now slowly add the olive oil, while the food processor is running. Keep pulsing until the oil takes on a bright green hue, add more olive oil if necessary.

Pour the oil onto a plate and place the goat cheese in the center. Serve with thinly sliced French bread. Try not to eat the entire thing by yourself.

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