So, a while ago I won a photo contest run by the fabulous Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery 
, and a few weeks later they sent me a fabulous prize box of goodies. As you might expect, there was some cheese in that book. Some gorgeous, creamy, delicious goat cheese. LOTs of it. So after I finished slathering a crazy amount onto crackers and scarfing it down, I decided to get a little more elegant. Marination was in order.
So I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks for inspiration, the fabulous OPEN HOUSE COOKBOOK 
, and did my version of their wonderful marinated goat cheese recipe. It’s as simple as slicing rounds of goat cheese (and using a piece of sewing thread works way better than a knife for this – just hold both ends firmly and slide it through the cheese) and arranging them on a pretty plate. Make sure you pick one with sides, because next we are going to pour in a nice puddle of olive oil. This is the time to bring out the good stuff if you’ve got it!
But before we pour on the oil, we’re going to heat it up with some bay leaves, some peppercorns and some dried thyme until it is hot and fragrant and wonderful. (Just a word to the wise about the peppercorns…if you like a lot of spice and bite, leave them whole. If you want your cheese to be a little more mild, crack them before you add them to the oil. The smaller the pepper pieces, the less spicy it will be when you eventually bite into it.)
Now pour the hot oil over the cheese, scatter some sliced garlic on top, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The original recipe says to marinate it overnight in the fridge…I’m sure that is a great way to go, but frankly I’ve never been patient enough to wait that long. We start eating it as soon as the 30 minutes is up. If you have a loaf of french bread handy, you are ready to go.
Do I even need to say that we didn’t need anything else for supper that night? We didn’t. Happy goat cheese!
Here’s the recipe!
8 ounces firm round goat cheese
1 cup olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1. Slice the cheese into 1/2 to 1/4 inch rounds (tightly held thread works well to slice soft cheese like this. Arrange the slices on a serving plate with sides.
2. Heat all remaining ingredients except the garlic in a small saucepan until hot and sizzling. Pour the hot oil carefully over the cheese.
3. Scatter garlic on top and let sit for 30 minutes.
4. Serve with crackers or torn french bread.