This lovely warm goat cheese slathers wonderfully over french bread, naan or ciabatta. Make a meal of it some nice summer night.
8 – 15 ounces of fresh goat cheese
extra virgin olive oil, a light and delicate one
freshly ground white pepper
jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and minced
mushrooms, sliced thinly
dried chile peppers
sundried tomatoes slivered and with oil reserved
fresh baby spinach, moistened
grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
fresh basil leaves, small in size
reduced balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 200 to 250 degrees.
Place goat cheese on serving platter and place in pre-heated oven for 20+ minutes or until warmed through.
In a small saucepan on a medium high flame, heat about one half cup of balsamic vinegar until reduced by half or until it reaches a syrup-like consistency, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
On a high flame, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-large sauté pan. Add the chopped mushrooms, sear until well-browned and then season with sea salt.
Turn the flame down to medium and add the slivered sun-dried tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, red pepper flakes and jalapeno. Heat through but make sure you Do Not Burn It!!! Next, add a couple handfuls of spinach and a few fresh basil leaves and toss with tongs until wilted. Lastly, remove from heat and add the grape tomato halves and toss.
Remove cheese from oven and top with veggie mixture. Drizzle entire platter and cheese with olive oil, reserved sun dried tomato oil and the reduced balsamic vinegar. Season with cayenne, salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Place a few whole dried chiles and a rosemary sprig on platter for garnish. Serve immediately with crostini, sliced ciabatta, warm naan, French bread or plain crackers. Small plates, forks and a large serving spoon work best here.
For the leftovers…
Smear on a sandwich
Toss over pasta
Stuff in a chicken breast
Thanks to Just Simply Cuisine for this delicious appetizer that blossoms into a meal!