Baked Goat Cheese with Spring Vegetables

One of the great things about writing a recipe blog is that right out of the blue, wonderful people who also love bacon and wine and chocolate and cheese write you from out of the blue to ask you if you would like to try some of their bacon or wine or chocolate or cheese.  And one of the many things I have learned over the course of learning about cooking and photographing and blogging about food is that if someone offers to feed you something delicious, you say yes! Which is how I recently ended up with two boxes (two boxes!) of scrumptious, creamy, wonderful goat cheese.

Now, I am a sucker for goat cheese not only because goat cheese is one of the most delicious things on earth, but also because it comes from, well, goats.  And I’ve been lucky enough to get up close and personal with a few goats in my time and really…could you ever resist these faces?

So back to my two boxes of goat cheese.  They were given to me by my friends at Montchevre Goat Cheese, and among other things, they sent me a whole bunch of these babies.

These are perfect little 4 ounce goat cheese logs that come in all sorts of flavors, including honey, and cranberry, and peppadew.  (I have no idea what a peppadew is, but I’ll be finding out.)  And while these are perfect to just spread on a cracker and eat as is, I had bigger plans for the one that was just plain goat cheese.  And those plans involved some of this.

And some of these.

And one of these perfect babies.

And as you might have figured out from the title, those plans were to take all these veggies and bake them up with cheddar cheese and goat cheese and a few other things to make a warm, creamy goat cheese dip.  It would make a terrific springtime party dip, of course, but the Southern husband and I got ourselves a crusty roll of French bread and had it for supper one recent Tuesday night.  Warm creamy goat cheese, perfect tender spring vegetables…Tuesday night doesn’t get much better.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find out how THIS tastes.

Thank goodness for goats!  The end.

(Except for the recipe!)

Baked Goat Cheese with Spring Vegetables

Yield: About 6 servings as an appetizer

Baked Goat Cheese with Spring Vegetables

Ingredients

1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped leek (use white and light green section only)
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I recommend Cabot)
Freshly ground pepper
1 package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen/thawed
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley, chives and basil (and feel free to substitute any other fresh herbs that catch your fancy!)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese, divided in half

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 minutes and drain. Let cool and separate out the tips.
3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the leeks and cook until they are tender, about 6-7 minutes, stirring regularly, Stir in flour until the leeks are well coated, and then slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is a bit thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and add the cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted, and then add a couple grindings of fresh pepper, all the veggies except for the asparagus tips, the herbs, the lemon zest and two ounces of the goat cheese and stir gently.
5. Pour the mixture into a 4-5 cup shallow baking dish. Arrange the asparagus tips on top, pushing them down slightly into the cheese mixture, and scatter the remaining goat cheese over the top.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden in spots and bubbling. Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then serve with french bread, crackers or whatever you like. If you have any leftovers (ha!) they will be great reheated and tossed with pasta.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Comments

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  1. So.,,I’m totally going to a wine and cheese party to meet all of my new boyfriend’s friends next weekend. And I’m so officially bringing this. I think they’ll be head over heels.

    • New boyfriend, exciting! Once he tastes your cooking he’ll be even more head over heels than he already is! :)

      • Aww thanks love! Do you think this could be made ahead of time?? Like, if I baked it at my place do you think it would survive reheating at the friends’ place a few hours later?

        • Hmm. I think you could put it all together beforehand, and then bake it for the first time at your friends house. I think baking and then reheating might make the cheese a little rubbery. But you are a fabulous cook yourself, so if you think it would work, I trust your instincts! :)

  2. Lorraine says:

    Peppadews are little, usually marinated, peppers; some people stuff ‘em or use ‘em in salads. They’re just a little … not really spicy; more tangy :)

  3. Oooh man, goat cheese is my Spring time obsession! This recipe looks and sounds right up my alley. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Lorraine says:

    Because I’m just the teeniest bit OCD … here’s a link to a Food & Wine goat cheese gratin that uses peppadews! Thought you might like it :)
    http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pepper-glazed-goat-cheese-gratin

  5. Have you ever tried goat cheddar? That is so tangy, yet cheddar-y. Kind of makes me think of a cross between regular cheddar and a really tangy sheep feta.

    I live in the SF Bay Area of California, and several cheesemakers around here make it. I wish I could remember the creamery that makes the one I’ve tried most often. It would be excellent in something like this…dippish but also healthy. ;)

  6. You know it’s good when they come back for seconds ;) I keep looking at this picture and thinking and thinking and, you know, this would be outstanding with some lightly caramelized shoestring baby carrots – just cooked in butter or olive oil until they get a tiny golden coating to them. Mmmmm. I love carrots with creamy stuff, seems to really bring out their sweetness.

  7. Now, THAT is a taste of spring. Looks totally scrumptious, especially with all that lovely cheese.

  8. I love the flavors of this, I’m a huge asparagus and goat cheese fan so I would go nuts over this.

  9. Nice way to enjoy some spring vegetables!

    • Thanks Kevin! I’m pretty much putting asparagus in everything I make this time of year, I love it SO much! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Vegetable Dip Another dip I pinned on pinterest. I made several changes to the recipe Baked Goat Cheese with Spring Vegetables 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces 2 tablespoons butter1 cup chopped green onion, white and [...]

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