Marinated Goat Cheeses
- 4 (2-ounce) crottins Chavignol, or other French goat cheese
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- Edible flowers, such as pansies or nasturtiums, garnish
- Minced fresh soft herbs, such as parsley, dill or tarragon, garnish
- Homemade Croutons, recipe follows
- Homemade Croutons:
- 1 (12 to 15-inch) loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch slices
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Place the cheeses in a sealable 2-cup jar. Add the thyme, garlic, pepper, lavender, and salt, and top with oil to cover completely.
Let stand for 48 hours in the refrigerator before serving.Homemade Croutons:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush 1 side of each slice with the olive oil, then lightly season with the salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool before handling or serving.
Serve the croutons with the Herb-Marinated Goat Cheeses.
Yield: 12 to 20 croutons