Goat cheese is made from goat’s milk, has a cylindrical shape and its weight ranges between 800g and 1500g. It is eaten fresh and characterised by a soft crust; if seasoned, it has a harder crust and the flavour becomes spicier. Goat cheese, like goat milk, easily digested and lower in calories, cholesterol and fats than in its bovine counterpart. In addition, goat milk cheese is a good source of calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin K, phosphorus, niacin and thiamine.
Bruschetta with Goats' Cheese, Basil and Tomato
First combine about 1 tablespoon olive oil with the crushed garlic and spread over the baking sheet, then slice the bread into thin rounds; you won't need all the loaf. Now arrange the slices on the baking sheet, press them into the oil then turn them the other way up so that each surface has a slight coating of garlicky oil.
Bake them in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they have turned a golden brown and become very crisp. Do watch the timing on this – I have thrown away more burnt croutons of bread than I care to remember!
Cool them on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin until you need them (they will be okay for up to 2 weeks, which is very helpful).
When you're ready to serve, skin the tomatoes by pouring boiling water over them, leave for 1 minute, then halve them, scoop out the pips, slip off the skins and chop the flesh into tiny dice.
Now simply spread each crisp bread slice first with a thin layer of pesto, then with a generous layer of goats' cheese, and sprinkle on the diced tomato together with a little crushed sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
Finally, using a small teaspoon, add a few droplets of olive oil – though be careful not to overdo this. Scatter a few fresh basil leaves over the bruschetta to serve.
Creamy Polenta with Goat Cheese
· 1 tablespoon salt
· 1 pound quick-cooking polenta (2 2/3 cups)
· 4 ounces soft goat cheese
· 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add salt and slowly add polenta, in a thin stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheeses and butter. Serve immediately.