Tag Archives: goat cheese

Apple Halves with Chèvre and Honey

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I’ll admit – posting the following recipe absolutely feels like cheating. It’s not fancy, it’s not intricate, it’s not labor intensive, or evenly remotely time consuming. But it’s a delicious snack that I threw together out of sheer hunger…

Speaking of hunger, let’s discuss and not discuss how I’ve been H-U-N-G-R-Y for the last few days. But not for just anything. Just breakfast (at all times of the day), burritos, and spinach salad (preferably with chèvre, dried cranberries, and toasted almonds, please).

Side note aside – I don’t usually like to eat slices of apples. Maybe it’s out of laziness. Eating apples means coring apples. Sigh. Dramatics aside, when the fruit bowl is down to just apples, you deal with it. I deal with it. I slice them up… then think of something more exciting that apple slices, or apple slices and peanut butter. Thus the following recipe.

The goat cheese is perfectly creamy and its tanginess works nicely with the sweetness of fuji apples (don’t feel boxed into that – use whatever variety you like… although Granny Smiths may be too tangy). And the Meyer lemon zest? It’s a touch of brightness in both flavor and color.

I’m not going to tell you how many apples (four) I ate in one sitting after eating them like this. Brace yourself.

Apple Halves with Chèvre and Honey

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 medium Fuji apples, cored and halved
2 oz. good quality chèvre
wildflower or orange blossom honey
zest from 1 Meyer lemon
fresh ground nutmeg

Directions:

Evenly spread the chèvre on the halved apples. Drizzle some honey over the goat cheese (as much or as little as you’d like, remember that the apples will already add sweetness and you can always add more honey if needed!).

Sprinkle the lemon zest and a tiny bit of fresh ground nutmeg over the top of each apple slice.

Enjoy ASAP.

Warm Beet Green Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese, and Pine Nuts

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I grew up on an island small enough to travel from one side to the other, then back, in less than half a day. Everyone knows everyone, or knows of everyone. Family isn’t always blood-related. Anyone can be aunty, uncle, tutu… Two aunties I had known my entire life were Auntie Kei and Aunty Mitzi. They had known my grandparents – my mom’s parents – whom I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet. These two sisters lived together as long as I can remember. I remember going out to breakfast with my mom, the aunties, my sister, and brothers on many weekends. When we were little, the aunties went to doctor appointments with us, or grocery shopping, or on nearly any outing we invited them to.

I remember often receiving large brown bags filled with their homegrown star fruit and tangerines. They would rarely let us part ways without some kind of food gift – Japanese kanten they made (like jello, only made of agar agar instead of gelatin), or teriyaki nori (seaweed) I could never eat enough of, cookies, bags of honey boro, li hing mui… Sometimes what we left with were large amounts of homegrown beets and beet greens.

Even as a kid, I loved beets. My mom would steam the greens, then tightly roll them up and allow them to cool. She’d top the cold greens with mayonnaise, which I don’t think I would enjoy now so much (perhaps Vegenaise wouldn’t steer me away so quickly?). I actually much preferred the greens to the vibrant red beets. Last week when I was drinking a lot of raw beet juice, I realized how much I missed that flavor.

When I discovered two small beets in our refrigerator needing to be used up, I opted for the following warm salad, incorporating the greens as well. Beets are great for you – they’re high in many vitamins and nutrients including iron and folic acid, they’re low calorie and contain zero saturated fats, they help prevent heart disease and numerous cancers, AND! they’re energy-producing in your body… not to mention, they’re sweet and tasty. This salad is simple. I ate the whole thing for a rather filling brunch, but it can easily serve two or three people. The beets add sweetness, the goat cheese adds a creamy element that works well with the acidity of the lemon and vinegar, the greens balance the sweetness and the pine nuts add a bit of texture.

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Creamy Three-Cheese Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

My appetite has gone haywire over the last couple months. Not hungry, not hungry, not hungry, ravishingly hungry after a couple weeks, though only around 10 o’clock at night. Summer is nearly always like that for me: the warm days somehow outweigh my desire for food. Winter is another story all around. It makes things difficult at times, being someone who thoroughly enjoys cooking, creating meals, and placing my creativity in the kitchen. However, summer offers such pretty, fresh ingredients it’s not hard to convince myself to make something delicious to feed everyone when necessary.

While I’m not usually a fan of raw tomatoes, the turnoff always being the seeds encased in that goopy, mushy slimy mess they’re in. Its taken time, but I’m definitely learning to enjoy tomatoes. In the past, we’ve grown them, ending up with tons of bright red ‘maters. Last year we had a bunch of tomatoes, but with the abnormally cold stretch into summer, we didn’t have single red tomato by the time fall came. I don’t mind buying tomatoes this time of year, especially locally grown. Right now, cherry tomatoes are all over the place and they sure are gorgeous! Yellow, bright red, green, orange… and so very sweet.

I recently saw a recipe for roasted cherry tomatoes and about keeled over with excitement. While I’ve seen many recipes for slow-roasted cherry tomatoes that take hours in the oven at low heat, who wants to turn their oven on for three hours in the middle of summer?  Thirty minutes of oven time is worth it for these, even in the middle of summer. While you could easily eat these roasted tomatoes on their own, I added them to pasta with some fresh basil, goat cheese, feta, and romano cheese, resulting in a very creamy main dish. This pasta is actually delicious cold as well, the following day.

 

 

Creamy Three-Cheese Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients:

2 pints cherry tomatoes, stems and leaves removed
2 tbsp. olive oil
1½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ tsp. red chili pepper flakes
¼ cup pecorino romano cheese
3½ oz. feta cheese, crumbled
4 oz. goat cheese
1 pound pasta (penne, spirals, strozzapreti)
2 tbsp. heavy cream

 

Directions:

Prepare the tomatoes: Preheat your oven to 400° F. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Generously sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes turn wrinkly and begin to pop from the heat. Remove from heat and allow the tomatoes to cool at room temperature while you prepare the pasta.

Prepare the pasta noodles according to the package directions (boiling in salted water). While the pasta is cooking, get the sauce started. Melt the one tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan or pot (all your pasta will eventually go in here, so choose something large enough). Sauté the garlic, chili flakes, and about a quarter of the fresh chopped basil for about 10 minutes, until the garlic is tender.

Drain the cooked pasta, reserving about one cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to your sautéed garlic, turning to evenly coat the noodles. Add in the roasted tomatoes (including their juices), pecorino romano cheese, feta, about half of the goat cheese, and the heavy cream. Stir well, folding all the ingredients in together and making sure the pasta gets coated evenly. Add in the remaining chopped basil. If the pasta doesn’t seem creamy enough, you can add a little of the reserved pasta cooking-liquid (a couple tablespoons at a time). Add in the remaining goat cheese right before serving.