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Posts Tagged ‘cooking with goat cheese’

It’s the middle of July and if you’re like me, you’ve found your garden overrunneth with squash and zucchini.  If you were able to avoid the squash bugs, which we lucked out in accomplishing, by no means of our own.

This year, a friend who sells at the Lynchburg Community Market graced us with a flat of seedlings promising a harvest of heirloom zucchini.  We put on our game face and planted the seedlings, watered them a few times and then we didn’t receive any measurable amount of rain for over a month.  Despite the drought and lack of care, our zucchini pulled through and is giving us a bountiful harvest.

The garden plot we planted zucchini is across the front hay field and down in the hollow between hills.  It’s a hike to get to, and we’ve been busy.  So our zucchini are harvest on the large side, but they are still very tasty.  Last week I took a huge load of zucchini to work to give away.  Some of my co-workers were offering to PAY for the zucchini.  They couldn’t believe they were edible, because of course, being heirloom varieites, we had beauties like these:

Heirloom Zucchini!

So what can we do with all these zucchini?  Well last week I made a pasta featuring sauteed zucchini and grape tomatoes in a cream sauce.  Delicious!

Today for lunch, I’m taking inspiration from one of the veterinarians at work.  Thus, I present you with the latest segment of Cooking with Goat Cheese.

Chevre and Herb Stuffed Zucchini

Chevre and Herb Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients:

Zucchini – these can be of any variety, I chose to use one of my little round heirloom

Chevre – I used one flavored with herbs de Provence because it’s what we had in the fridge

Herbs of your choice, whatever you like, whatever is in season

Herb paste (if you like, I do!)

Salt and Pepper

Parmesan cheese (if you please)

Recipe:

Preheat your oven to 425F.  Start with a clean zucchini.  Cut the top off and scoop out the inside.  Save the zucchini “guts” in a bowl.  Once you’ve scooped out a sufficient amount, chop up any large chunks of zucchini saved in the extra bowl.  Add chevre to the zucchini guts, as well as fresh chopped herbs, the herb paste, and salt and pepper.  Mix and adjust according to your taste.  There is no scientific method to this madness.

Put the zucchini mixture back into the zucchini.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.  Back for 15-20 minutes, until the Parmesan is brown and the skin is soft.

Feel free to dress this up as you like.  I imagine roasted red peppers in the mixture would be delicious.  Serve as a main dish alongside a salad, rice, or pasta.  Or, serve as a side alongside steak or pork.

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I hope you enjoy the first of what I hope will become a regular series of posts.  In the words of my favorite lady, Bon Appetite! -Danielle

After a hot, busy Saturday we wanted something easy and fresh for dinner.  We pondered the contents of our fridge, reviewing the fresh fruits and veggies we picked up at the market today.  We did a few searches on the internet and came across this recipe for a crustless quiche with sausage and Swiss chard.  Perfect!

Sausage, Chard, and Chevre Crustless Quiche

Of course, we modified the recipe slightly, so here’s what we did:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork sausage, medium hot; cooked and crumbled (from Rocky Top Farm, Appomattox)
  • handful Swiss chard (from Island Creek Farm, Huddleston)
  • 1.5″ spring onion (from Three Springs Farm, Lynchburg)
  • 6 eggs (from Rocky Top Farm, Appomattox)
  • 2T evaporated milk
  • 4T herb chevre (of our own making)
  • 1/4c grated Gruyere
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease casserole dish.

Heat small amount olive oil in frying pan.  Once warmed, tear up the chard and saute with the onion until the chard is wilted and the onion is slightly brown and translucent.  Remove from heat.  Add crumbled sausage and chevre.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mix with evaporated milk.  Stir in the sausage-chard mixture.  Add gruyere.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour into greased casserole dish and bake in oven until the egg is cooked through.  In a glass dish, it took the original author about 20-30 minutes.  In our ceramic dish, it took 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Image from Blue Rose Dairy

Like to cook?

Like goat cheese?

Why not combine the two?

Goat cheese, especially chevre, lends itself well in the kitchen.  It is helpful that many cheese producers make multiple types of chevre flavored with herbs, dried fruits, and other spices.  Each unique, and deserving a life outside of being a cracker passenger.

About a month ago, Caromont Farms posed a question on its Facebook page, challenging its members to think outside the box and cook with goat cheese.  And the responses poured in.  I contributed some of my favorite ways we’ve incorporated goat cheese into dishes at home.  Every time we cook with goat cheese, I take a picture of the finished product.  Eventually I plan to start a series of posts on cooking with goat cheese.

I recently stumbled across this article, Bleating Heart: 10 things with goat cheese, published in The Orange County Register back in April.  The first part of the article tells of the author’s travels and visits to a few goat dairies, and the subsequent tasting of delicious cheeses (and wines!).  The latter half of the article lists 10 ways goat cheese can be incorporated into dishes – from the routine to the more adventuresome (asparagus lasagna? weird, but I am so in).

So I challenge you, readers out there to put aside the Parmesan and pick up a chevre.  If you let me know about it, I’ll include it in my upcoming (and hopefully, regular) series of cooking with goat cheese.

Oh, and don’t forget, in Michael Pollan’s latest book, Food Rules – An Eater’s Manual – rule #33 says “Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi.”  While he mostly refers to kimchi, soy sauce, yogurt, and sourdough bread; I think it’s okay to include cheese in that list. 🙂

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