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Spiced Goat Cheese

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)


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Introduction

Years ago I clipped this recipe from Food & Wine magazine; this adaptation is still a favorite of mine, and a crowd-pleaser as well.

Ingredients

  1. ½ tsp. saffron threads, loosely packed
  2. 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  3. 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  4. ¼ tsp. red-pepper flakes
  5. ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  7. ½ tsp. salt
  8. 11 oz. goat cheese, cut into ⅓-inch rounds (or two 5-oz. disks)
  9. One fresh and crusty baguette, cut into ⅓-inch slices

Steps

  1. In a small bowl, cover the saffron with 1 tablespoon of hot water and set aside to infuse for several minutes.
  2. In a dry skillet, combine the cumin, black peppercorns, and red-pepper flakes, and toast over medium-high heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer spices to a mortar or cutting board, and grind or chop them into a coarse powder. In a small bowl, or the mortar, combine and stir the spices, olive oil, garlic cloves, and salt.
  3. Arrange the goat-cheese rounds in a wide, shallow dish and spoon about half the saffron water over the top; flip the cheeses over and pour the remaining saffron water over the other side. Pour the olive-oil mixture over the cheeses and marinate at room temperature for at least 5 hours, turning the cheese occasionally to coat both sides with the spiced olive oil.
  4. The cheese can be refrigerated up to 1 week; return to room temperature before serving. Serve by spreading a little cheese, along with some of the spiced oil, onto a bread slice.