Because I couldn't decide, I made two different kinds, one with a crust of pistachio and fresh mint, and the other with Marcona almonds and rosemary. I love combining nuts and herbs, and they make an interesting pairing with the soft cheese.
See what I mean--- they're irresistible, even before they're baked.
You just cut a slice of the cheese, or, depending on the kind of goat cheese you have, you may need to form it into a little flat patty. Then brush on some olive oil so the crust will adhere.
Pat on a coating of the nut/herb mixture and that's all there is to it. With your mini food processor doing the chopping, you could come up with a million variations on this, using your favorite nuts and herbs. I want to try pine nuts with thyme or oregano, and then maybe walnuts with parsley. Troll the nut aisle at Trader Joe's and you'll get lots of ideas, how about using their Sweet and Spicy Pecans, or Chili Lime Cashews?
After a few minutes in the oven they emerge all molten and delicious.
Pile a salad plate with some fresh greens, (I used baby Swiss chard), drizzle with some olive oil and fruity vinegar, and top it with the cheese. I had one of each and still can't decide which I like best.
I had this for lunch, but it could be an appetizer with crackers or bread, too. You can make the little crusted disks of cheese ahead and bake them off just before company arrives.
Baked Goat Cheese with Nut and Herb Crust
oven to 350
1 cup raw or roasted pistachios
2 heaping Tbsp fresh mint leaves
dash of salt (if using raw nuts)
For Marcona Almond/Rosemary
Marcona almonds, I like the roasted, salted, skin on variety
2 heaping Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- Put the nuts and herbs in a mini food processor and process until the mixture is finely chopped.
olive oil for brushing
- Slice or form 4 round patties of cheese. Brush the patty with oil and pat the crust on the top, sides, and bottom, making sure to cover it all.
- Set the patties on a lightly oiled baking sheet or dish. I recommend a rimless baking sheet for easy removal since the cheese is very delicate when hot.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. I ran mine under the broiler briefly just to get them sizzling, but be careful, if they get too hot they can start to melt. If you have difficulty removing the hot cheese without it falling apart, let it cool briefly.