I was smitten and wanted to know more, but I’m easily distracted and forgetful so it’s taken me this long to finally bring home a 1/4 pound stick from the grocery store. After an quick run through the basics (on bread, with radishes, in a gratin and sautéed with spinach ala Amanda Hesser) I have to say it’s my new love. Sigh.
Because it’s more time consuming to produce, goat butter is expensive, at least $12 a pound, often more. So I knew I wanted to use it in ways that highlighted, rather than obscured, it’s unique, subtle flavor.
Straight up. On a slice of good bread or toast. Simple, straightforward, one of my favorites. A few sprinkles of Maldon salt and a little chopped parsley brought it up a few notches, but remember: goat cheese often comes salted so taste first before adding salt. Garnish with a nasturtium blossom and you have an elegant nibble to serve with drinks or a nice glass of minerally white wine.
In a recipe. I made a simple, classic gratin with potatoes and milk that had been simmered with a slivered garlic clove. A little pepper, no salt, Instead of cheese, I dotted the goat butter over the top. Rich and delicious, the goat butter added a deep, almost cheesy note. Next time, I may add a few sauteed wild mushrooms.
There seems to be two brands that are somewhat widely available: Meyenberg from California and Mt. Sterling from my home state of Wisconsin which was the brand I used for this article. The Find also has a large mail order selection, including goat butter from France and Montreal.
Oh, and as an added bonus, goat's milk seems to be a great substitute for many people who can't handle cow's milk.
(Images: Dana Velden)