With Easter just around the corner and all the wedding showers, baby showers, and warm weather get togethers spring usually brings, I’ve come to find it very helpful to have a collection of simple but elegant go-to recipes. I’ve got a good amount of main dish and dessert recipes, but I’m still working on rounding out my appetizer repertoire. I can say without a doubt, though, that this goat cheese has earned its spot.
I’ve made it twice now with rave reviews both times. With a creamy, tangy log of bright white goat cheese encrusted in two shades of green herbs, bright pink peppercorns, and drizzled with golden olive oil, it certainly looks perfect for the season. The pink peppercorns aren’t spicy. In fact, they have more of a floral note. I’ve made this with plain goat cheese as well as a honeyed variety and served it with an assortment of crostini and crackers, which makes for flavor and presentation opportunities that are quite flexible. I also think it would be great in a grilled cheese, but I’ve never had enough leftovers to experiment with that! Best of all, it’s equally delicious whether it’s made two days ahead or just before serving which, of course, makes it perfect for nearly any event.
Goat Cheese with Pink Peppercorns and Herbs
from America’s Test Kitchen Make-Ahead Appetizers
1 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted
4 tsp. pink peppercorns
4 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 (8 oz.) log plain or honeyed goat cheese, chilled
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Place fennel seeds in a plastic zip top bag and crush coarsely with a meat mallet. Add peppercorns and pound until cracked.
2. In a large, flat dish, combine fennel mixture with thyme. Roll goat cheese in herb mixture, pressing gently to adhere, until coated. Wrap cheese log in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to serve, up to 2 days.
3. To serve, place goat cheese log and a plate and drizzle with olive oil.