Posts Tagged goat cheese

Broiled Apricots with Whipped Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Honey

Oh, summertime. I just can’t get enough of you.

I love the heat, brightly colored sundresses, summer reading, and family vacations. I love stone fruits and summer squash and berries and green beans and peppers and fresh basil. I love camping, grilling, boating, and hiking. I love summertime adventures.

And, I love fruit-laden summer desserts. James beard once said, “Of all the desserts in the spectrum of cuisines, I find those made with fruit the most rewarding.” I tend to agree with Mr. Beard. Fruit desserts are simple and rustic, and they really let the fruit shine. There’s really nothing better than a simple fruit dessert in the middle of summer, when fruit is ripe, sweet, and perfectly juicy.

This is one of those perfect summer desserts. The broiled apricots take mere minutes to make, and they taste so darn good. The broiling caramelizes the exposed flesh of the apricot, and the sweetness of the caramelized apricot pairs beautifully with the tangy goat cheese and salty pistachios.


Ripe Apricots | Rosemarried

Broiled Apricots with Whipped Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Honey

Serving Size: 4


  • 2 ripe (but firm) apricots
  • 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Using a whisk, whip together the goat cheese, honey, and Greek yogurt. Mix until fluffy and well combined. Set aside.
  2. Slice the apricots in half, and remove the pits. Place on a lined baking sheet (skin down) and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the surface of the apricots. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the tops of the apricots are beginning to brown and bubble. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for a minute or two.
  3. Place a spoonful of the goat cheese mixture in the indent of each apricot (where the pit used to be). Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the top of the goat cheese, and liberally drizzle honey over the fruit. Top with a generous sprinkling of nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy immediately.


Spring Strawberry Salad with Lime Poppy-Seed Vinaigrette

This is such a simple and pretty spring salad. I won’t pretend this salad is anything new or revolutionary – let’s be honest, we’ve all seen spinach and strawberry salads before – but I think the simplicity of this salad is what I love most about it. It’s chock-full of gorgeous spring produce – strawberries, spinach, fennel, radishes, and snap peas – and the veggies are perfectly complemented by a bright and balanced homemade lime and poppy-seed vinaigrette.

This is one of those recipes that can easily be changed and adapted, depending on what you have on hand (or what you’re in the mood for). You could substitute lettuce, kale, arugula, or any other type of leafy green for spinach in this salad and it would be equally delicious. Or, try using pecans or hazelnuts instead of almonds. Whatever the case, you can’t go wrong with the combination of ripe strawberries, spring veggies, goat cheese, and a sweet and tangy vinaigrette.

spring strawberry salad | rosemarried

Spring Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Vinaigrette


  • Several handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 3-4 french breakfast radishes
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Pinch of yellow mustard powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Wash and pat dry the fruits and vegetables. Remove strawberry tops and slice into halves or quarters. Slice the snap peas thinly, at an angle. Using a mandoline, shave the fennel bulb and radishes into thin slices.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients – oils, vinegar, lime juice, poppy seeds, and spices.
  3. Gently toss the spinach with the strawberries, snap peas, fennel, and radishes. Toss with poppyseed vinaigrette, to coat. Sprinkle chopped almonds and goat cheese crumbles atop the salad. Sprinkle a few fennel fronds on the salad, if desired. Add an extra dash of black pepper, for an extra kick.

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

When I first moved to Portland from Los Angeles, I was told that I must eat at Toro Bravo. I was warned that the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. I was told to expect a long (2+ hour!) wait. But, everyone declared that the wait was worth it.

The people of Portland have long adored Toro Bravo, but I just couldn’t find it in me to wait for two hours for dinner. I’m far too impatient (and I knew I would get far too hangry).

That said, it took me 4 years to finally visit Toro Bravo. I planned to arrive early on a weeknight, in hopes to evade the crowds. Much to my surprise and delight, I was seated right away. Over the course of the evening, I tried a number of different dishes and they were all ridiculously good. However, there was one dish that stood out above the rest: the Harissa-stewed butternut squash. It was incredible — smoky, spicy, rich, warm, and comforting. I devoured the squash and considered ordering another. (And, yes, I’ll admit that I should have tried Toro Bravo years ago. Why did I wait so long?!)

I’ll admit that I crave this dish often. It’s completely addicting. I’ve braved the lines at Toro Bravo a couple of times since that night, specifically for the squash. You can image my elation, then, when I discovered that the new Toro Bravo cookbook included a recipe for the dish!

Let me tell you, the ability to make this dish at home is a real game changer. I might never leave my house again, except to go to the store for more squash and harissa.

harissa squash

Adapted from “Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.” and Portland Monthly Magazine.

Notes on the recipe: The original recipe calls for Rose Petal Harissa, but says that you can sub regular harissa. I used regular harissa, but the kind I have is particularly spicy, so I cut it with a bit of tomato paste (which also added color and flavor to the dish).

1 butternut squash (2–3 lb)
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp harissa
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Several dollops soft goat cheese


1. Using a sharp knife, halve the squash. Trim off the skin, scoop out the seeds, and dice into 1/2″ cubes.
2. Heat two large skillets over medium-high heat. Place two tablespoons of butter in each pan. Once the butter has melted and is beginning to brown, place half of the squash in one pan and half in the other. Season squash with salt and pepper.
3. Allow squash to cook untouched for the 3 minutes, or until brown on one side. Toss and allow the squash to cook a few more minutes, until nicely browned.
4. Pour squash into one pan, remove from heat, and set aside. Add a bit of olive oil to the empty skillet and cook onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Stir often and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the squash into the pan with the onions and garlic, and stir to combine. Add in the harissa, cream, tomato paste, and paprika. Allow to cook, uncovered, until squash is fork tender and beginning to fall apart (30+ minutes). Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
6. Pour the mixture into shallow baking dishes and sprinkle dollops of goat cheese over the top. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve immediately.

Farro and Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon

I’ve been in a fog for nearly a week now. My nose is stuffed up, my throat is sore, and my head aches. I’m not sure if this is a cold, a sinus infection, allergies, or a combination of all three. Whatever it is, it isn’t particularly enjoyable.

I’ve had the hardest time writing this post, simply because food simply doesn’t sound good. I can’t taste anything and I can’t smell anything. It’s all a little bit pathetic.

I made this salad before I got sick — back in the good ole days when I could taste and smell and enjoy. It was bright and lemony and full of the flavors of spring. It was lovely.

I’m sure I’ll feel better in no time, and that food will taste good again. For now, I’ll have to live vicariously through all of you. If you happen to make this dish, I just ask that you take a moment and savor it.

Enjoy the flavors of spring for me, please. :)

Farro and Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon

Serving Size: 4 as a


  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (or more) hazelnut or olive oil
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced chives
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  1. First, cook the asparagus. Bring a medium or large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating, trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1″-2″ pieces. When the water comes to a boil, place asparagus pieces in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and plunge into an ice bath (or rinse with cold water). Drain asparagus, pat dry, and set aside.
  2. To make the dressing — mix together lemon juice, olive oil (or hazelnut oil), chives, salt, and pepper. Toss the farro, asparagus, and hazelnuts together in a shallow bowl. Pour dressing over the farro mixture, and stir to coat. Gently stir in goat cheese crumbles and lemon zest. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.


Adapted from The Kitchn

Wintery Grilled Cheese (with Goat Cheese, Roasted Beets & Wilted Chard).

It’s a quiet winter Sunday and I’m puttering about the house and working on various projects (cleaning, organizing, laundry, etc). It’s freezing outside and the weather is manic; alternating between snow flurries and sunshine. I’ve got a chill in my bones that I can’t quite shake, and no amount of coffee seems to do the trick. I click back and forth between the Packers game and the Golden Globes, as I can’t decide which is more depressing.

I think it’s the perfect day to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

Why? Because grilled cheese is the perfect winter meal.

In addition, the grilled cheese sandwich is a prime example of a time-tested culinary rule: melty cheese + bread = culinary magic. (If interpreted loosely, this rule also applies to pizza, quesadillas, nachos, lasagna, mac n’ cheese, cheeseburgers, etc. You get the idea.)
So, this sandwich is essentially a dressed up version of the bread and cheese rule. I took a couple slices of quality bread and added goat cheese, roasted beets, wilted chard, caramelized onions, along with a healthy dollop of creamy horseradish.

The result? My new favorite winter meal. I’m not kidding. This sandwich is a wonderful tribute to the season, and utilizes some of my favorite winter vegetables: beets, onions, and chard. The creamy goat cheese melds together perfectly with the earthy winter veggies, and the horseradish gives the sandwich just the right amount of punch.

If this is what winter tastes like, then I hope winter lasts forever.

(OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit with that last sentence. At the very least, this sandwich makes the winter much more tolerable.)

Wintery Grilled Cheese: With Goat Cheese, Roasted Beets, and Wilted Chard.
(Inspired from a similar sandwich I consumed at Bunk Bar. Thank you, Tommy. You rule.)
Makes 4 hearty sandwiches.

8 slices quality bread (I splurged on Grand Central Bakery’s Sliced Campagnolo. So good.)
4 ounces goat cheese (Chevre), room temperature
3 cups of rainbow chard, roughly chopped
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 medium-large beets
Horseradish, to taste

Roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and trim off beet greens, leaving a 1/2 inch “stem”. Wrap each beet individually in tin foil. Once the oven is hot, place wrapped beets directly on the oven rack (or on a pan, if you’d rather). Roast for 40 minutes (up to an hour), until beets are soft all the way through when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, unwrap beets and remove skin. The skin should come off easily (I usually use a paper towel and gently rub off the skin). Set beets aside.

While the beets are roasting, caramelize the onions. In a medium size non-stick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced onions. Allow to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized (about 30 minutes). If they begin to cook too quickly, turn the heat down to low. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.

In the same skillet (no need to clean it, the onion flavor will just enhance the chard), heat a splash of oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped chard and allow to heat. Stir, and after a minute or two, add one tablespoon of water to the pan. Cover, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the chard to cook like this for 5 minutes. Check on the chard, if the water has evaporated but the chard is still under-cooked, add a bit more water and cook for 2-3 more minutes. I like my chard leaves to be wilted, but I like the chard stems to still retain a bit of crunch. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside until ready to make your sandwiches.

Once the beets, chard, and onions have cooked, your sandwiches are ready to assemble!

I trust that you all know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, so I’m not going to go overboard with instructions. Essentially, spread a (thick) layer of goat cheese on one slice of bread. Top with beet slices, wilted chard, and caramelized onions. Spread creamy horseradish on the other slice of bread (along with a little more goat cheese, if you so desire). Butter the exterior of your bread slices, and cook your grilled cheese sandwiches on a griddle (or non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat. Cook sandwiches for 3-5 minutes on each side, until bread is golden and the goat cheese is warm and ‘melty’.

Note: goat cheese does not “melt” like other cheeses, but it will get warm, gooey, and delicious.

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

I’m not making any claims that this is the best tomato sauce of all time. If you’re looking for the best tomato sauce of all time, you may want to consult Scott Conant, Mario Batali, or some other famed Italian chef. This isn’t one of those tomato sauces.

However, I can claim that this is a good tomato sauce recipe. A really good tomato sauce recipe – one that I invented myself, with a little help and inspiration from others. At the end of the day, it’s a basic tomato sauce made with the last of the ripe tomatoes from my garden.

All that to say, I’m not going to go on and on about tomato sauce as if I’m an expert on the subject. I’m not. But, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to making (and using) tomato sauce. First of all, I figured out a way to make tomatoes peel themselves. You see, I hate (hate!) blanching, peeling and de-seeding tomatoes. It is a tedious and obnoxious task. So, then, I figured out that if you quickly roast the tomatoes underneath your broiler, the skins pretty much just come right off. I simply halve the tomatoes, sqeeze out the seeds, and then broil them for 8-10 minutes (or until the skins blacken and loosen from the tomato flesh). It’s a win-win situation: the tomatoes get a bit of smokiness from the ‘fire roasting’ and the skins come off easily. No blanching required!

Secondly – and this may sound painfully obvious – use high quality or heirloom tomatoes when making tomato sauce. Your sauce will taste as good as the tomatoes you put in it. Those sad, bruised, unripened Roma tomatoes at the grocery store? Don’t use those. It’s as simple as that.

And lastly, I want to share with you my new favorite way to enjoy tomato sauce: baked with rounds of goat cheese, and enjoyed with a fresh baguette. And yes, of course, I eat a lot of tomato sauce with pasta. But I made a giant batch of this sauce and was looking to use it in a number of different ways. And let me tell you, baking goat cheese in tomato sauce is dangerously delicious. I made it one evening while Nich was at work and I may have devoured it al by myself. Oops?

So, then, the actual recipe that I’m posting is for my fire roasted tomato sauce. But my helpful suggestion is to bake some goat cheese in that sauce. Just make sure that someone else is around to ensure you don’t gobble it all down by yourself. :)

(Inspired from recipes from Smitten Kitchen and Vie La Table)
5lbs of tomatoes
1 small carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup red wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pepper, to taste

First, halve the tomatoes (from top to bottom) and cut off stems. De-seed the tomatoes, by either squeezing them over a bowl (or trash can) or by using a spoon or your fingers to remove seeds. I find that fingers work best!

Turn on your broiler. Place halved tomatoes, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet (be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet, as there will be a lot of tomato juice!). Place baking sheet under the broiler and roast the tomatoes until the skins have blackened (about 8-10 minutes). Repeat this process until all tomatoes have been roasted. Set tomatoes aside and allow to cool. Once tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove their skins and pour off any juices. The skins should come off very easily (the roasting does the work for you).

In a dutch oven or large pot, heat butter (or olive oil) over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add in onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown (10-15 minutes). Deglaze the pan with red wine, and add in the bay leaf, rosemary and oregano sprigs. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, and then add in the roasted tomatoes, dried basil, and salt & pepper. Allow to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or more. The longer you let this sauce simmer, the better it will be. When you feel the sauce is ready, remove from heat. After 30 (or more) minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Blend with an immersion blender (or food processor) until smooth. Serve over pasta (or bake with goat cheese!). The sauce will keep in the fridge for a week (or more).

For the love of beets.

I apologize for the sudden outpouring of beet recipes on my blog. I don’t quite know what’s gotten into me.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I did not like beets until somewhat recently. Not one bit. I don’t know what finally persuaded me, but suddenly I can’t get enough of them! They are just so darn beautiful (and tasty! And good for you!) So many great things rolled up into one pretty little package.

My theory behind the sudden outpouring of beet recipes is that I’m making up for lost time. All those years I spent hating beets…I had no idea what I was missing. So now that I’ve fallen in love with this ruby red root vegetable, I’m going a little beet crazy. To all you beet haters out there: I apologize. I know that my blog is quite beety at the moment. So, I promise that this will be the last of the beet recipes for awhile, OK? Besides, I have spring vegetables to concentrate on now. Bring on the asparagus, radishes, strawberries, snap peas, and more!

However, I will say one more thing to the beet haters out there. If you could find it in your heart to give beets another chance, you might be pleasantly surprised. Beets – when done right – are nothing like their soggy, ghoulish canned counterparts (don’t even get me started on canned beets: ICK!). With that being said, I’ll leave you with a few of the recipes that have helped me learn to love beets.

Beet Quinoa Pancakes
Boozy Beet and Apple Popsicles
BLBs – Bacon, Lettuce, and Beet Sandwiches

And now, for all you beet lovers…you’re in for a real treat. I have not one, but two beet recipes for you. I served both of these at my Cheese, Wine and Swine dinner party (However, I did not serve them together, as I thought that might be overdoing it a touch). The Babushka (beet cocktail) was paired with the melon and duck proscuitto appetizer, and the Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad was served as the second course (paired with a lovely French Rosé).

I’ll leave you all with this thought: this weekend, I planted 3 rows of chioggia beets in my garden. So when I harvest those little beauties, I can promise you I’ll go on a beet craze again. For now, I’ll leave you with these two recipes and lay off the beets for awhile. :)

The Babushka
(Makes 1 cocktail)
3 oz beet vokda (Click here for the recipe)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup (*or ginger simple syrup, recipe here)
1 oz of Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)

In pitcher or measuring cup, gently stir together beet vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup. Pour into a chilled martini glass. Gently pour prosecco over the top. Garnish with lemon wedge. Serve immediately.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio Vinaigrette
(Serves 4)
4 large beets
1 fennel bulb
1/2 cup good quality goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/8 tsp nutmeg
The juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roast beets: Wash the beets and remove greens (set aside for another use). Do not peel the beets. Wrap each beet in a piece of tinfoil and place directly on rack in preheated oven. Roast 45 minutes to an hour, or until beets are tender when pricked with a fork or knife. Allow beets to cool. Once cooled, the skin should peel or rub off easily. Remove skin and slice beets into 1/4 or 1/2 cubes.

Roast fennel: Remove tops (fronds) of the fennel, set aside for later. Slice fennel bulb thinly (like you would an onion), toss with olive oil to coat. Spread fennel in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until tender.

Make pistachio vinaigrette:
Chop pistachios or pulse quickly in a food processor. Pour olive oil over the pistachios, stir to combine Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cider vinegar. The mixture will be thick.

Whip the goat cheese: using a whisk, blender, or hand mixer, whip goat cheese and creme fraiche together until goat cheese is whipped and fluffy. Add extra creme fraiche if needed. Season goat cheese mixture with nutmeg and a dash of black pepper.

Combine cooled beets and fennel in a mixing bowl. Toss with liberal amount of the pistachio dressing. Take reserved fennel fronds & chop finely – until you have 2 teaspoons worth. Sprinkle finely chopped fennel fronds over the salad, stir just to combine. Serve beet salad in small bowls and top with a healthy dollop of whipped goat cheese. Sprinkle extra pistachios atop the goat cheese. Serve at room temperature.

Note: For those of you who asked about recipes from the Cheese, Wine, and Swine dinner party: I hope you were pleased with what I’ve posted. This will be the last of them! My husband was responsible for making the duck prosciutto, and I’m still waiting on him to write up that post. :) And I’ll admit – the duck proscuitto was really tasty, but we’re definitely still beginners at the fine art of charcuterie. For a full tutorial on how to make your own duck proscuitto, go here.