Marinated Goat Cheese with Fried Garlic and Sage
- Yield 4 to 6 servings
A delicious appetizer straight from the Mediterranean.
You can serve the cheese as soon as it's ready or you can store it in the fridge for later; the extra time soaking with the garlicky oil will intensify the flavor, but the sage and garlic won't be as crisp. Make sure to let the cheese and oil come to room temperature before serving--with lots of bread.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 10 tablespoons (150 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 leaves fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
- 8 ounces (225 grams) soft goat cheese in a log (usually about 1/2 log), very cold
- Slice the garlic lengthwise as thinly as possible; it should be almost translucent (use a mandoline if you have one).
- Place 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the oil in a heatproof container and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Drop in a test piece of garlic to see if the oil is hot enough; it should sizzle on contact.
- Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, stirring to make sure all the slices are separated. Add the sage and cook until the garlic is just slightly golden and has stopped sizzling, about 40 more seconds. Remove from the heat.
- Add the herbes de Provence and pink peppercorns, then immediately pour the hot oil mixture into the bowl of cold oil to stop the garlic from cooking. Let cool.
- Using a piece of string or plain dental floss, cut the goat cheese into four rounds, each 3/4 inch (2 centimeters) thick. Place the rounds on a serving dish. Arrange some of the fried garlic and sage on top of each piece of cheese and drizzle most of the oil over everything. Serve.
Note: Pink peppercorns are young, tender peppercorns that are much softer and have a sweeter flavor than regular black peppercorns.
Reproduced with permission from Modern Mediterranean: Easy Flavorful Home Cooking by Melia Marden; Stewart, Tabori & Chang; April 2013.