These are the second ‘grown up’ shortbread cookies I have posted. Santa would thank you for leaving them with a glass of wine! But the good news is you can make serve them any time of the year. Continue reading “Savory Goat Cheese Shortbread”
We are having a heat wave in Ontario this week so I was planning for a meal that I could cook on the grill. I was working on a ‘supper on a stick’ theme! I experimented with various types of meatballs that I could skewer and then I hit on these little vegetable stacks. They turned out pretty awesome if I do say so myself!
I used Kirkland Basil Pesto sauce ready made. There are lots of awesome pesto recipes out there but I don’t always have enough basil to make my own. And.. have you seen the price of pine nuts lately? They are crazy expensive.. so I looked it up. Apparently pine nuts typically come from China or Russia. The crops have not been up to par for the past 2 years while demand was going up as people became aware of them as an ingredient for pestos, sauces, salads etc. Add to that the process of extracting the nuts from the pine cones is very labour intensive… and here we are today…expensive pine nuts.
You may find that the large end of the eggplant is too big to use for this recipe,depending on the size and the shape of the eggplant you use. I only used the ‘neck’ portion to make 8 vegetable stacks. I used up the fat end in another delicious Vegetable Strudel recipe. Elegant and good for you too!
I also experimented with using mini Bocconcini cheese in the spirit of a Caprese salad on a stick but it melted as it cooked and was too bland. The goat cheese was far better since the eggplant really only takes on whatever flavour you add to it. You could use other dense, flavourful cheeses as well. Just be sure they don’t melt too quickly and slide off the base.
8slicesroma tomatoes 1/4 inch thick (about 2 tomatoes)
8slicesgoat cheese1/4" thick (approx 4 oz)
coarse sea salt and fresh black pepperfor finishing
8sturdy toothpicks or short skewers
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Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Slice onion 1/8-1/4 inch thick and add to pan. Add brown sugar and thyme. Stir well and reduce heat to med-low. Stir frequently to prevent burning, Saute approx 20 minutes til onions are golden colour.
Wash and slice eggplant into crosswise rounds.
Brush garlic oil on both sides of the eggplant slices.
Spread pesto on the top side of the eggplant slice.
Top each slice with a tablespoon or so of caramelized onion.
Add a tomato slice on top of the onion, then the goat cheese slice and top with the basil leaf.
Hold the stack together with a sturdy toothpick or bamboo skewer.
To BBQ, spray cooking oil on a BBQ tray. Position stacks on the tray and BBQ on medium heat 15-20 minutes.
Or bake in 350 degree oven 15-20 minutes. You could broil at then end for a minute or 2 until the goat cheese starts to brown.
Finish with a pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
This Garlic Goat Cheese Souffle makes a lovely light lunch or dinner. It is perfect with a side salad or some green vegetables. The goat cheese and broiled cheese topping complement the sides as well. Continue reading “Garlic Goat Cheese Souffle”
This is my favourite way to eat quinoa! It makes a perfect ‘meatless Monday’ kind of meal! The quinoa takes on a nutty toasted flavour after the casserole is baked in the over. Although this combination of flavours is the one I like best you can vary the layers with other ingredients to tailor to your taste or what you have – example – try a layer of roasted peppers, or fried mushrooms and caramelized onions or replace goat cheese with ricotta, replace pesto with tomato sauce. You get the idea!
Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and PestoYum
Spray deep casserole dish with cooking spray. I used 8 1/2" X 6 1/2" X 2 1/2 inch deep.
Cook quinoa according to manufacturer's directions. Usually means put quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before stirring.
To roast garlic, trim the head off a bulb of garlic. Do not peal cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, wrap in foil and roast in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. When bulb is cool enough to handle squeeze cloves out of the skin.
Mash roasted garlic, tsp olive oil and goat cheese together until evenly mixed and spreadable. Set aside.
For the sun-dried tomatoes, add the wine to the hot water and soak the tomatoes approx 20 minutes. Drain tomatoes after they are softened.
For the pesto I used Kirkland's Basil Pesto right out of the jar.
Layer 1/3rd of quinoa in the bottom of your casserole.
Spread the sun-dried tomatoes evenly over the quinoa base
Layer another 1/3rd of quinoa.
Spread goat cheese mixture carefully over the quinoa layer. The warmth of the quinoa will help soften the goat cheese. Be careful not to stir up the quinoa layer when spreading the cheese. If your cheese layer is a bit clumpy it is ok as long as it is evenly distributed. It will melt further in the oven.
Spread the pesto over the cheese layer.
Top with remaining quinoa and press gently to even out the entire casserole.
Heat in over at 350 degrees for approx 25 minutes
Slice and serve.
If not serving right away you can refrigerate the casserole after assembling. When reheating it will take 20-40 minutes to warm through.