A post or two ago, I shared with you a recent event I did for our Women’s Ministry in which I brought a little bit of the beach to the desert.
In planning the food for the event, I kept imagining a picnic on the beach. Blanket spread out on the sand, a shady umbrella and a gentle salty breeze.
But what would I want to eat?
Something delicious and satisfying but not too heavy and easy to pack and transport.
Something perfect for a picnic. In this case, I also needed something that would easily feed a crowd with little effort.
As I thumbed through my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks (which is one of my favorite event/party planning rituals) I came across a recipe for “Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches” from Ina Garten, Parties!
At first read they seemed more like a tea sandwich, with cucumbers and the crusts cut off, but as it is with so many things, it is all in how you see it. And I saw these little sandwiches in a picnic basket nestled next to chilled grapes, freshly baked cookies and iced tea; all ready for a day at the beach. Or an evening as it were.
For the Know Event, I doubled the recipe and made the sandwiches on a whole grain bread and a soft potato bread. While I couldn’t enjoy the sandwiches (no bread for me), the herbed goat cheese spread was another story! I made a batch for home and couldn’t get enough of it. I ate it on everything I could think of. Daddy and the big kids loved it too but Mr. Picky wouldn’t go near it; which is in fact a good sign that it is absolutely delicious – unless of course you too currently only eat grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate pudding.
“Ewww! I CAN’T like that! It is eesgusging!”
The recipe is not “eesgusging” and is very simple to throw together and holds up well in the fridge for at least a week; if it lasts that long. Click the link above (the one under the picture of the picky 5 year old) and it will take you right to it.
It whips up easily in a stand mixer but be sure to finely mince or even smash the garlic into a paste as it is pretty potent and no one wants to bite into a big chunk of raw garlic. My husband thought the spread was a little heavy on the garlic so you may want to start with just one clove and see how it tastes to you.
The recipe calls for parsley and thyme, which is fantastic, but I am going to get a little creative with the herb combinations next time. Basil, tarragon, chives, maybe even olives or tapenade and sundried tomatoes; endless possibilities! I also think a bit of lemon zest would be delicious.
Recently, I made this spread as an appetizer for dinner with friends and served it with baguette slices that I drizzled with a little olive oil and toasted in a 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes. They didn’t last long and the tantalizing crunch of those baguettes slathered in that rich goat cheese spread was almost more than this girl could take.
So I toasted up some low-carb Joseph’s pita wedges and shared in the joy. Admittedly, it was not the same as a crunchy French baguette but it was still pretty darn good.
For all of you Trim Healthy Mamas out there, this spread is fantastic rolled up in a Joseph’s lavash for a snack or just add a little turkey and veggies for a satisfying lunch wrap.
One word … omelet.
My husband is the resident omelet maker around here and he’s pretty darn good at it. He makes one for me just about every weekend and I was most delighted to find rich and creamy herbed goat cheese pooling from every nook and cranny of this perfect Saturday morning treat (another good THM/low-carb breakfast).
He also brought me a good strong cup of black coffee. I am a blessed woman indeed.
There are so many ways to enjoy this versatile spread, I’m thinking about piping it into cherry tomatoes or on top of cucumber slices the next time I need an appetizer.
I hope you will give it a try and play around with your own herb and ingredient combinations. Be sure to let me know what you come up with and as always …