the ultimate date night appetizer!
Oh boy. I am REALLY excited to share this baked goat cheese in fresh herb and tomato sauce recipe with you. It’s my version of one of my all-time favorite tapas recipes, which is served at a local restaurant in Kansas City.
I love goat cheese, but I prefer to enjoy it in harmony with other flavors. It can tend to be a little overpowering sometimes, but I think the fresh herb tomato sauce is a perfect companion for balancing out those sharp flavors.
Combine the bright, tangy flavor of goat cheese with the savory richness of roasted tomato sauce, and you’ve got a little piece of heaven coming for your tastebuds on a garlic rubbed crostini.
So … you’ve probably noticed the abundance of herb photos thus far. I also want to take this opportunity to show off my cute little oregano and basil leaves that I’ve been growing on my balcony. They’ve been there for an entire month, and they’re still alive. 🙂
Oh, and my aunt bought me these super cute measuring spoons, so here’s some more photos of these little herbs that I love … in cute measuring spoons. 🙂
Last one! 😀
Whew! Ok. The herb gallery is done. Thanks for hanging in there. Now let’s get down to business. If you can use fresh herbs in the sauce, it really does make a difference. But there’s no way I’m going to get all preach-y about fresh ingredients, so you can definitely used the dried stuff if that’s what you’ve got on hand. I actually topped the end product with a little bit of dried Italian seasonings, and it was an awesome flavor addition.
Blend the petite tomatoes, onions, herbs, crushed red pepper, and freshly grated Parmesan together in a small blender. But only pulse it a time or two; you still want the sauce to be a little chunky. In a small saute pan, cook a little garlic in olive oil. Pour the tomato sauce into the saute pan, and add salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer for about 5-7 minutes, so the flavors can really start to come together. Then, pour the sauce into a small, oven safe dish.
Top the tomato sauce with goat cheese, and broil the dish until the goat cheese is slightly browned. (Or more browned, if you like.) This only takes a couple of minutes, and it’s legit, guys. This is some legit [at home] date night stuff that I seriously cannot get enough of.
For garnish, I topped mine with a pinch of dried Italian herb seasoning and freshly cracked black pepper. This is perfect if you’re using a Latin theme for your date night at home, or some sort of Italian theme. You can seriously do whatever you want. You could just eat this whole thing, make another one, and be like … yeah. That was the best dinner ever.
I also want to recommend pairing the ‘baked goat cheese in fresh herb and tomato sauce’ with some bodacious red wine, like Sangiovese. Goat cheese on it’s own is great to pair with acidic white wines, but this tomato sauce really calls for a red wine, in my opinion. Sangiovese lends more acidic, so it’s an awesome call if you’re wanting to go with a red. We’ve also been on a Beaujolais kick lately, and that goes with damn near anything. No matter what you pair it with, I hope you love it as much as I do!
baked goat cheese in fresh herb and tomato sauce : a small batch recipe for two.
- 1 cup petite cut tomatoes with olive oil and garlic
- 2 Tbsp. white onion chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp. fresh Italian oregano leaves
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. parmesan freshly grated from block
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- garlic rubbed crostinis
- In a small blender, combine petite cut tomatoes, white onion, crushed red pepper, oregano leaves, basil leaves, and parmesan. Pulse for only 5-10 seconds, just to blend. Be sure to leave it a little chunky.
- Pour olive oil into a small saute pan, and heat through. Add minced garlic, and cook until softened fragrant: up to one minute. Add the chunky tomato sauce. Stir olive oil and garlic with tomato sauce, and allow it all to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat, and pour directly into a small, shallow, oven safe dish. Top with 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, and broil until the cheese is browned. (Only a couple minutes).
- Serve hot with crostinis.
Drizzle crostinis in extra virgin olive oil, and bake at 350 until hard (only about 5 minutes). After you remove them from the oven, while they're still hot, rub a fresh garlic clove across the surface of each crostini. The garlic will melt into the hot crostini, and create an amazing flavor! Be sure you hold the crostinis with tongs or an oven mitt, as they can be super hot while you do this.
If you're using dried basil and oregano, start with 1/2 tsp. oregano, and 1 tsp. basil. Adjust accordingly to your taste!