I am a fiend for cheeses, in general the stinkier the better. That barnyardy funk that some cheeses acquire after being washed with brandy or wine and stored away in a cave? It draws me like the aroma of truffles or baking bread, a powerful harbinger of good tastes to come.
But recently I’ve been revisiting an old cheese friend that is not at all stinky and I’m finding it mighty good too. At our Farmers Market, Judy Schad of Capriole Farms (who does sell an amazing cheese called Mont St. Francis for those moments when only funk will do) has had bags of the adorable little cheeses that she calls chevre aperitifs. No bigger than thimbles, the aperitifs are perfect little mouthfuls of goaty tang. Judy taught me a long time ago that the best way to enjoy them is to marinate them in fruity olive oil and herbs with a little garlic, and when they’ve soaked up all the good flavor, to serve them with some crusty bread.
Never one to ignore a master’s advice, that’s what I’ve done. If you can’t get chevre aperitifs, any small goat cheeses will do for this recipe. Be sure to save the oil when the cheese is gone and use it for salad dressing. Fantastic.
(I originally wrote about Capriole Farms here, and about my near-religious experience this summer with their Old Kentucky Tomme and a wedge of sweet watermelon here. Feed Me Drink Me Girl up in Indy has also had Capriole cheese on her mind this summer.)
Judy Schad's Herbed Marinated Goat Cheese
Chevre apéritifs or other small fresh goat cheeses
Several roasted garlic cloves
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
good olive oil, or olive oil/canola oil mix
Place cheese in a sterile jar with garlic, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
Cover with oil. Put top on jar and refrigerate. Allow to marinate for at least a week for cheese to absorb oil and flavor from herbs and garlic.
Refrigerated, the cheese should be fine for several months. Allow to come to room temperature before use and serve as an appetizer or light lunch with crusty baguette and olives on the side, or on a salad.