Herb Marinated Goat Cheese makes a nice season spanning appetizer because it takes the abundance of late summer herbs in such a rich, comforting sort of direction. This tangy marinated cheese smeared onto a toasty slice of bread is beyond delicious.
Come to think of it you can take this recipe right on into the holiday season because it’s a convenient make ahead party appetizer, and you won’t find a better food gift or host offering than a little (or big!) jar of this marinated cheese.
Tracey over at Shutterbean reeled me in when I saw a pic of this gorgeous goat cheese. I basically followed her instructions and ended up just thrilled with the results, this is just my kind of dish ~ easy, fresh, and vibrant!
What you’ll need to make herb marinated goat cheese ~
- a log of plain goat cheese. You might try feta, or mozzarella as an alternative. Avoid hard or super goeey cheeses, as well as any strongly flavored cheese.
- a long strand of dental floss for slicing the soft cheese (ideally not mint flavored, but that’s all I had and it was fine, trust me)
- at least three different fresh herbs, I used thyme, chives, and dill. Note, the herbs need to be fresh, not dried.
- fresh garlic
- red pepper flakes
- If you’ve got a lemon, add some thinly peeled zest
- Olive oil, or other oil like avocado, walnut, or other
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- thinly sliced fresh or toasted bread for serving. Bread works better than crackers here because it’s sturdy and can absorb the oils from the marinade.
Dental floss is the perfect tool for cutting thin rounds from the log of super soft goat cheese. Just wrap it right round the cheese and pull…you’ll get a perfect slice. It’s important to get thin slices because each slice will become a single serving for a piece of bread and you don’t want them to be overwhelming. A knife would just mangle the whole thing, and besides, it’s fun to use the floss!
Pull out those kitchen shears!
The other fun thing about this marinated cheese recipe is that you can just snip the herbs right into the serving dish with kitchen shears. Shears work perfectly for tender herbs like chives and dill, as this avoids bruising and crushing them. As for the thyme, I just run my fingers down the stem to release the leaves. Easy peasy.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules to this appetizer, so feel free to layer it up as you like, add as much or as little herbs as you see fit, just make sure everything gets completely covered in oil.
Because the goat cheese is so naturally tangy, you don’t need any acid like vinegar or lemon juice in the marinade, just the oil and herbs. The garlic and red pepper flakes add a nice punch.
Other ingredients to try in marinated goat cheese ~
Like so many of the recipe I feature here, there are no hard and fast rules, have fun with this…
- chopped olives
- sun dried tomatoes
- pink peppercorns
- seeds like mustard seed, fennel, dill, or caraway
- fresh basil, parsley, tarragon
Can I make marinated goat cheese ahead?
Please do! This is one of those convenient appetizers that you can prep and forget about all day. If I’m not entertaining I also like to pack it into smaller jars for our use. It’s fun to pull out a little jar for an impromptu cheese platter.
*Some extra virgin olive oils harden when refrigerated for long periods of time, but that’s no problem, just leave it out at room temperature and the oil will liquify.
How long does marinated goat cheese last?
The cheese will last about 10 days in the fridge. Make sure the cheese is covered in oil at all times to keep it fresh.
Yes, this is an extravagant amount of oil…
But it won’t go to waste! After you’ve finished your cheese, don’t discard the extra oil, you can use it in salad dressings, or you can use it to marinate another batch of cheese. On the same day we had this cheese, I was pan frying halibut for dinner and I spooned some of the herby oil over the fish as it was finishing cooking, it was amazing.
Marinated goat cheese makes a great food gift
- When the holidays roll around and you’re heading to all those gatherings, think about making up a few jars of this cheese to offer to your hosts.
- If you usually make cookies to give out to all of your friends, consider switching things up this year and giving this pretty cheese.
- Weck makes a huge assortment of adorable glass jars just perfect for giving…I like this one in particular for marinated cheese.
Goat cheese has become a favorite of mine in recent years.
The sharpness of the cheese along with its incredible creaminess makes it a great ingredient to play with. I love to use it in frittatas (Asparagus Goat Cheese Frittata) because it really wakes up the mellow eggs. I’ve fried it in my Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad and the frying accentuates that fluffy texture. You can also take the slices of cheese and coat them with crushed nuts, etc, and bake or pan fry them for the most amazing topping to a simple salad (Baked Goat Cheese.)
Herb Marinated Goat Cheese
- approximately a 12-ounce log of goat cheese
- olive oil, enough to cover the cheese in your container
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch chives
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 bunch thyme
- red pepper flakes
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Thinly slice the goat cheese into thin rounds. I like to use a piece of dental floss wrapped once around and pulled to create thin even slices, about 1/8 inch.
- Coat the bottom of your dish with oil, and add the minced garlic. I like to use a garlic press to get the garlic really fine. Mix in the garlic to get it evenly distributed.
- Arrange a layer of cheese on top. Snip or slice some of each of the herbs on top, along with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Cover the cheese in more oil. Add the rest of the cheese rounds over the top. Add more herbs and seasonings, then top off with oil so everything is covered.
notes and variations