The marinated chèvre makes a beautiful and thoughtful hostess gift when made in an attractive canning or apothecary jar. Once the cheese has been consumed, the highly flavored oil is wonderful used in marinades,
salad dressings, or as a dipping oil for rustic breads. Serve the crostini with your favorite briny olives, sun dried tomatoes and roasted bell peppers for a colorful and delicious appetizer.
1 (8-ounce) log fresh firm chèvre cheese
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup garlic olive oil
3 bay leaves (preferably Turkish)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
24 (1/4-inch thick) French bread slices
3 tablespoons chèvre marinade, from recipe above
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Chèvre: Slice the cheese into 24 slices, each about 1/3-inch thick. Place the slices in a wide-mouth canning jar (or attractive clear glass container) with a lid. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the cheese; the cheese must be completely submerged in the oil. Place the lid tightly on the jar, then gently rotate the jar back and forth to distribute
the flavorings evenly among the cheese slices. Marinate at room temperature for 24 hours.*
For the Toasts: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush the bread on both sides with the chèvre marinade, then season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven until crisp and golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside until needed.
To Assemble: Place one slice of marinated chèvre on each toast. Place in the oven just until the cheese is heated through and very slightly soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6
Tips and Techniques
* After 24 hours, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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