There have been several occasions lately that involve visiting friends, bearing an appetizer and a bottle of wine - perhaps something to do with the warmer weather, longer days, and kids being out of school.
The essence of these gatherings is always to relax and have fun and catch up with a gorgeous group of ladies - apparently I have my own theme going that includes toasted baguette and goat cheese.
HERBED GOAT CHEESE DIP
In a medium bowl, beat 2 tablespoons of whipping cream until thickened. Stir in 3.5 ounces of crumbled goat cheese, 1/4 cup of snipped herbs (I used oregano, parsley, dill and tarragon), a finely chopped shallot, finely grated peel from one lemon, and a clove of minced garlic. Stir to combine, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Thin with additional cream if desired.
Serve with toasted baguette slices.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, March 2013
SWEET PEA CROSTINI
1 14 ounce package frozen sweet peas, thawed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
french baguette slices, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Place peas and garlic in a food processor, add olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours.
Spoon pea mixture onto toasted baguette slices, sprinkle with goat cheese.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living, June 2011
www.southernliving.com › Food › Recipes
SPRING VEGETABLE AND GOAT CHEESE DIP
1 cup 3/4 inch pieces asparagus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup grated cheddar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 ounce) can of chopped artichoke hearts in water, drained
1/2 cup peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese, divided
Heat oven to 450F.
Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, let cool.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Whisk in flour, gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, remove from heat. Add cheddar, whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold in asparagus (reserve tips), artichoke hearts, peas, chives, mint, parsley, lemon zest and 4 ounces of crumbled fresh goat cheese.
Transfer mixture to a baking dish, arrange asparagus tips on top and dot with another 2 ounces of goat cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious