A simple way to jazz up plain goat’s cheese is to create a layered spread. I experimented with a combination of fig jam, aged balsamic vinegar, toasted walnuts and sprigs of thyme. Here’s what I did :
1. Mix 3 tablespoons of store bought fig jam in a bowl, add 2 teaspoon of aged balsamic vinegar,a pinch of coarse salt and pepper, mix with a fork and finish with a sprinkle of thyme leaves. Toast 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts.
2. Line a separate bowl with plastic wrap*. Place a few sprigs of thyme on the plastic wrap. Add a layer of plain goat’s cheese** over the thyme. Create another layer with part of the toasted walnuts and fig jam .Add another layer of plain cheese and top with remainder of walnuts and fig jam. Finish with a last layer of goat’s cheese. Wrap the spread with the plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.
3. When ready to serve, take the cheese spread out of the bowl and gently unwrap the plastic wrap. Invert the spread onto a serving plate and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes. I served the layered goat’s cheese spread with ACE rosemary baguette crisps and a cold Reisling.
* tear enough plastic wrap so it drapes over the side of the bowl.
** when layering the cheese, it’s easier to spread if it’s at room temperature.
© 2011 Ann Ivy Male