If you peek into our refrigerator on any given day, you're likely to find a stash of soft goat cheese; we're addicted to the creamy, tangy flavor and it's such a versatile ingredient. For a quick appetizer or snack – savory or sweet – we like to marinate it in olive oil, herbs, honey, and other seasonings. This technique is especially useful in hot weather when we're loath to do any cooking! Marinating goat cheese is as simple as cutting it into slices or rolling it into balls (or just leave it whole), adding seasonings, and then covering it and sticking it in the fridge for about an hour. Take it out sooner if you're pressed for time or marinate it longer for a deeper flavor. If submerged in olive oil in an airtight container, the cheese is said to last for several weeks or more, though we've always polished it off much sooner.
For a savory marinade, we like to layer the cheese in a dish or jar with olive oil, herbs, spices, garlic, or citrus peel. The one pictured above consisted of about 5 ounces of soft goat cheese, 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme, 1/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary, a minced clove of garlic, a pinch of lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper, and enough olive oil to cover. The cheese was terrific in a sandwich with crusty bread and Super Easy and Delicious Zucchini Butter.
For a sweeter marinade, pair goat cheese with honey instead of olive oil. Here, we were inspired by a recipe for Honey-Marinated Goat Cheese with Lavender from Edible Seattle. (A sprinkle of flaky sea salt before serving was the perfect touch.) Other good seasonings for a honey-based marinade include rosemary, thyme, or pink pepper.
When it comes to marinating goat cheese, precise measurements are unecesssary, but do check out the following recipes for more inspiration:
• Trio of Marinated Goat Cheeses, from Bon Appétit
• Marinated Goat Cheese, from Saveur
• Marinated Goat Cheese with Garlic, Basil, and Orange Zest, from The Global Gourmet
Related: Appetizer Recipes: Pink Pepper Goat Cheese Spread & Olives
(Image: Emily Ho)