Marinated goat cheese and life alone!

Date giugno 20, 2011

I spent the last weekend alone at home, waiting for the foodblogger party to be enjoyed in my garden yesterday afternoon. My parents were in Germany to visit Claudia, so I had the whole house for myself: it was a kind of rehearsal of what will be my life from November onwards, when I will eventually take the plunge and I’ll be moving into my own tiny house overlooking the valley, alone. As I’ve always said, I’m a country girl through and through.

I appreciate many small moments of life alone. Obviously, there are also moments when you’d really need to have someone with you, as when I started crying buckets watching a film, and it was even not that thing. But take for example a lunch alone, sitting cross-legged on the sofa, relaxing after a Cinderella morning: priceless. Or just imagine coming back home after the morning run, throwing your shoes in the hall and jumping into the shower, ending up outside, resting on the wall, sipping a cup of green tea, watching the fields turning  golden yellow: awesome. And then the wind, it was such a windy weekend, like in Chocolat, and whenever the air is so electric and messy, my ideas are re-oxygenated, and I feel like it’s going to happen something new, something beautiful.

When I’m alone, I try to reduce the effort of cooking (quite oddly, knowing myself), combining a few good ingredients and leaving them pure. I love for instance ox heart tomatoes, pinkish and sweet, seasoned with just a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and Maldon salt. You can prepare them in two minutes, but they make me feel like a queen, perhaps due to those crunchy salt flakes, a surprise when you bite into the fleshy tomatoes. Yesterday I decided to keep me relatively light for the upcoming foodblogger feast, so I pulled out of the fridge a jar with some marinated fresh goat cheese I had prepared the previous Saturday, listening to some healthy rock music blaring out in the house … another advantage of living alone!

Rather than giving you a detailed recipe – very intuitive -, I’ll tell you why I used these spices: reading The Flavour Thesaurus I found out that goat cheese is very similar to lamb meat in taste, they have the same high notes, so you can apply the same flavour matches. I used herbs and spices that I would have used in a marinade for a lamb leg.

MARINATED FRESH GOAT CHEESE

Ingredients:

  • fresh goat cheese
  • sumac spice*
  • rosemary leaves, chopped
  • garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Put the chunks of fresh goat cheese in a jar, sprinkle with sumac spice and chopped rosemary, add a clove of crushed garlic and a generous deal of fruity extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Leave to marinate at least for a few hours or better overnight, and serve with a salad of paper-thin cucumbers seasoned with the goat cheese marinade.

* The sumac is a Middle Eastern spice, purple, with a slightly citrusy flavor. It is used mostly to make marinades, sauces and dressings. It is one of the spices used in my beloved za’atar. It finds its perfect match with chicken, lamb, eggplant, chickpeas and fish. Thank you so much Beth for letting me discover this versatile spice!

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30 Responses to “Marinated goat cheese and life alone!”

  1. Chef Chuck said:

    This summer dish looks and sound irresistible…
    Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Rosa said:

    Mmhhh, those look so delicious! A great summery treat.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Celia said:

    This looks beautiful – and simple! I wind up cooking for myself most nights as well; I also love many of those “alone” moments, though – whether it’s to have a gourmet treat like this one all to myself, or to eat Ritz crackers and fake cheese without shame… :-)

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  4. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts said:

    This looks so pretty! Love the idea of dressing up goat cheese.

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  5. Tiffany said:

    I have been alone all week while my husband went hiking, it was a wonderful break! I did not turn on the oven once all week, I tend to eat small bites and appetizer type foods when I am eating for one. Your marinaded goat cheese would be perfect with some yummy bread, I will have to encourage him to go away more often!

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  6. PolaM said:

    What a nice recipe! Love marinating fresh cheese.

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  7. Sally - My Custard Pie said:

    I haven’t been on my own for a very long time and like you I find it very luxurious. I love to cook but would be happy with really simple fresh ingredients served impeccably – another luxury. Beautiful pictures.

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  8. meeta said:

    I enjoy my time out alone to be honest. It’s something I need to re-charge my batteries and as mum that time is very limited. Wishing you all the best with your venture Juls. I adore marinating cheese and have done it with all kinds of cheeses. Goat cheese is my special favorite!

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  9. Tandy said:

    I love moments alone when I can indulge in the simple pleasures! I have recently decided I like goats cheese so thank you for this recipe. I love my flavour thesaurus and use it quite often :)

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  10. tiina said:

    I see exactly what you mean – time alone is so valuable, where as sometimes not sharing the days with some can be bittersweet. Glad to hear you had a lovely weekend. I’m sure Claudia enjoyed your parents’ visit! I love the simplicity of this dish. I’m alone for a few days myself now due to B’s work trip, and this sounds like the perfect treat tonight – just for me:) Miss you, dear! xx

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  11. Sarah said:

    Beautiful pictures and a great way to use sumac. Never thought to combine these two ingredients but it is a perfect fit.

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  12. Jennifer said:

    Sumac with goat cheese…genius.
    Beautiful photos!

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  13. Jamie said:

    I absolutely love how you have flavored these goat cheeses, flavors that must complement the full, rich, tangy flavor perfectly! This is such a simple “country” lunch yet there is something so elegant about it. There is something about living alone that is so beautiful and perfect and soothing, I know. I have images or your little house in the Italian countryside running through my head, now. Italy calls…

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  14. Diana@Spain-In-Iowa said:

    Oh, I remember those days Juls! It was nice to get up and go for an early morning run, with the children, it’s become a bit more difficult to find that time. One day ;D Your pictures are amazing Juls. I’ll have to try the sumac you speak of. I’ve never had it before and am excited to give it a try. Have a wonderful week.

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  15. Kulsum at JourneyKitchen said:

    Wow Juls. This is beautiful. Just reading those simple and small things make me happy. True, simple pleasures are the best but we often forget to enjoy them as we should.

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  16. Sarka said:

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your weekend alone. I love such days too and usually don’t cook for myself either. This cheesy treat looks like a perfect food for such days. I adore marinated cheese. Actually it’s a typical pub food in the Czech Republic commonly served with beer. Almost every pub has some “food to go with beer” on their menu and marinated cheese became staples. It’s a camembert-type of cheese marinated in oil with onion, spices and pickled peppers. I love the idea of marinated goat cheese though and have to give it a try soon.
    PS: I don’t believe you would be often alone in your tiny country house because I will come to visit you often! :) Miss you, girl! xx

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  17. Tiffany said:

    Love the spices (especially the sumac)… and enjoyed reading about your thoughts on solitude!

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  18. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said:

    There is something quite nice about spending time alone, it’s peaceful and restorative. Congratulations on your new home!

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  19. Maria @ Scandifoodie said:

    What a lovely treat to savour all by yourself! My partner works long hours so I am at home by myself quite often. It’s nice to make special treats every now and then and spoil yourself a little ;-)

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  20. Elenore Bendel Zahn said:

    Oh, how I agree! I love your connection to the film Chocolat (I do not know how many times I have seen it) Oh, the greatness of jumping around all by yourself in a crazydance:)
    Love and bliss

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  21. Ethan said:

    yes, that is always the question…how extravagant of a meal should you prepare for yourself? can’t help but notice there are two pieces of goat cheese on the plate…perfect with someone else:)

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  22. Tina@flourtrader said:

    The best thing when you are alone is to make a point to do one thing special for yourself each day. This goat cheese plate qualifies-Yum!. Some people in this busy world would give their right arm for that kind of time because they never get it.
    Good luck on the move into the house, it sounds like it has a great view.

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  23. Marisa said:

    This is my ideal perfect snack. Goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses–marinated in all these delicious spices makes it even better! I like how you explain that goat cheese is comparable to lamb meat. Very interesting.

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  24. Marisa said:

    That’s a great tip on goat’s cheese having the same flavour notes as lamb – makes sense if you think about it! I’ll remember that for the future.

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  27. Annie B said:

    I just marinated some goat cheese the other day for the first time (my recipe says to leave it for 6 weeks!). I haven’t tried it yet. But I have a question: The olive oil goes completely hard (solidified) in the fridge. Even with the temperature set to the lowest setting. Do you think the marinating still works? I am thinking the flavours would not be able to strengthen and meld.

    Does anyone know a way around this?! The thing is you have to leave it in the fridge to preserve the goat cheese…

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    Juls @ Juls' Kitchen Risposta:

    Hi Annie, you asked a very good question! If you leave the cheese into the olive oil in the fridge just for a few hours or overnight there’s no risk for it to solidify.
    And if you cover the goat cheese completely with olive oil and close the jar, preventing the air to get in contact with the cheese, you won’t need to put it into the fridge to preserve it!

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