I try to eat a healthy diet for the most part, but that usually comes to a halt during the holidays. Between Christmas cookies, festive cocktails, and indulgent meals, it’s hard to stay on track, and I don’t usually even try.
Here’s the thing about holiday food though: While you want your food to taste indulgent and impress your guests, what you don’t want is something complicated to put together. Which brings me to a favorite recipe of mine, marinated goat cheese. I usually put this together for no other reason than I just like it, and then eat it for a few days for snacks or lunches, but it makes a perfect appetizer for an occasion like New Year’s Eve when you really want to focus more on fun than food prep. While some people like to make things like individual tartlets or canapés, I don’t have the patience, and usually end up eating a bunch of them during the process of making them.
One of the other nice things about this recipe is that it’s not really a “recipe” in the sense of specific ingredients or steps, but more like something you can throw together with what you have. I started making this with olive oil, but tried it with my avocado oil, and I think I like it better. It’s also a nice change of pace, and gives it an unique floral aroma and flavor. Add some herbs, a few garlic cloves, and peppercorns and you’re done. The beauty of this is that if you have the cheese and oil, you can make it with literally anything you have on hand; citrus peel, sundried tomatoes, olives, or honey and lavender.
You should make this at least a day in advance of when you want to serve it, but if you can make it several days ahead, even better. The amount of oil you use will depend on how you arrange the cheese; slicing the cheese and laying them in a single layer will allow you to use less oil than marinating a whole log, as well as become more flavorful, but the in tact log of cheese may be more presentable if you’re having an elegant party; it’s up to you. You just want to make sure the cheese is covered completely to marinate. I eat this with toasted baguette slices or crostini, but it’s delicious on fresh bread, vegetable slices, or even pita chips. You’ll want to serve it at room temperature. Put it on a plate with some toasted bread, dried fruit, nuts, or olives, and it will make a super fast, delicious appetizer.