I’ve seen many flavored chèvres in my market, and I’m wondering, how can I make my own using my favorite local goat cheese?
I think of fresh chèvre as a tangy foundation on which to build flavors. Fresh, chopped herbs—basil, rosemary, chervil, thyme, or tarragon highlight the soft goat cheese’s bright white color and lemony undertones, making it a lively companion to other foods such as crostini, pasta, or smoked salmon. I also use freshly herbed chèvre to make a fabulous topping for grilled chicken and pork or to fortify a green salad. Dried herbs can be used, too, but note that they have a milder flavor. Either way, start with small quantities of seasonings so you don’t overwhelm your chèvre (about three tablespoons per eight-ounce log is a good measure to start with). You can always add more!
Beyond herbs, other good flavor additions for chèvre are chopped sun-dried tomatoes, garlic-infused olive oil, minced roasted red peppers, or olive tapenade. All of these go well with the cheese’s creamy and versatile nature. Fold them gently into chèvre that’s been brought to room temperature (it’s easier to mix in seasonings if it’s not cold), or try this simple method to make savory chèvre bonbons: Divide chèvre into small, walnut-size portions, and roll each one in a mixture of chopped herbs, nuts, and fresh or toasted spices. Drizzle or pool some honey, balsamic vinegar, or extra-virgin olive oil on each serving plate, and accompany with crusty fresh French bread or chewy ciabatta.