Tuesday, August 18, 2009

goat cheese is the new black

Hi. My name is Jess and I’m addicted to goat cheese. I seriously have problems. If you asked me to list my favorite foods pizza would come pretty much first, followed in short order by fried chicken, avocados, a variety of salted meats and cheeses and I would not forget the inclusion of the delectable Cups made by our friend, Reese. BUT, if you were to ask me to list my favorite ingredients I guess I would have to come clean on the fact that there is nary a week when I don’t make a dish that involves goat cheese. On Thursday night I bragged to my boyfriend about the gnocchi I made for Erica and me.

gnocchi 3

“What was in it?”

“Oh, summer squash, artichokes, roasted tomatoes, lemon zest, crushed red pepper...and goat cheese.” He smirks.

“Lemon and goat cheese. Jess Pithie looooves lemon and goat cheese.”

Good god, I’m so boring. I mean I practically already made this exact same dinner and listed the recipe here in May, not mention the fact that I slapped it on some dough and called it a pizza mere weeks ago. So this here recipe can only be counted as a variation, at best. But whateves. I’m telling you right now make this pasta and you’ll be happy. It takes less than thirty minutes. Did you hear that? That was me karate chopping Rachel’s garbage bowl right off her kitchen counter. Hiiii-YA! So without further ado, another boring goat cheese recipe from my steamy apartment kitchen:

gnocchi 4

*mild exaggeration for dramatic effect.

1 package gnocchi
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of half a lemon
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar marinated artichokes, drained
½ package baby spinach
¾ to 1 cup (ish) roasted cherry tomatoes
1 summer squash, sliced into thin rounds
salt, pepper, olive oil
fresh chopped parsley

Someday I will be enough of a food nerd to make my very own gnocchi, but until that day comes, Trader Joes has a nice vacuum packed gnocchi that cooks up in no time. Set a pot of water to boil. While the water comes to a boil, slice summer squash, drain oil off of artichokes. I had already roasted the cherry tomatoes, so those were all set.

Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. I started the gnocchi about half way through cooking the veggies, because those suckers take LITrally only about three minutes to cook.

gnocchi 1

Heat a healthy drizzle of olive oil over medium/ med.-high heat. When oil is ready, add garlic and summer squash. Sauté squash and garlic for a few moments, until both are golden and tender, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add lemon zest, crushed pepper and a healthy crank of salt and pepper to the pan. Add artichokes, breaking up large chunks with a wooden spoon. Add spinach and juice the lemon into the pan.

gnocchi 2

Crank the heat for a few moments to cook down the lemon juice. Stir in the roasted cherry tomatoes. Drain gnocchi when ready and add to the pan. Stir together. Crumble goat cheese, more salt, pepper and parsley on top. Serve immediately and then make your roommate do the dishes.

Alright, so since I am essentially only giving you a variation on an already bestowed recipe. I figured I would provide another easy one I ate last week. I paired this simple salad with some store bought fried chicken from a gourmet grocer you may know as Stop n Shop. It was late, I had just done a 90 minute hot yoga class (in August, mind you) and I figured I had earned the right to be disgusting. Would it be revealing too much to tell you that I bought a four piece box and ate the drumstick on the way home? I almost threw the bone out the window while driving down Wollaston Beach but realized in the nick of time that doing something like that might result in the most embarrassing traffic ticket issuance/pedestrian injury known by mankind. Like in my mind I walked through the whole process of me getting sued for flinging a chicken bone out of my moving car and hitting some poor schlub in the eye with it.

So, when I got home I boiled some native corn and then scraped the kernels onto some thick slices of tomato. Salt, pepper, some chopped garlic chives and basil, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice was all I needed to make side dish so good I practically ignored the chicken. And that’s saying a lot.


1 cob corn, boiled, cooled, knifed off the cob
1 ugly ripe tomato, sliced into rounds
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
Fresh chopped basil and garlic chives
Salt, pepper, olive oil, juice of ¼ a lemon

august 9

This was a generously portioned side for one. It would be plenty for two people, or you could double the whole thing to serve four.

Tomatoes and corn in August are so good they really don’t need much attention or fuss. Honestly, the dressing didn’t even really need lemon juice. It’s that good. Please forgive the horrendous photo. Once it gets dark in my kitchen I am really at a loss for good lighting. The picture above is the result of my holding my plate up to the light with one hand while blindly snapping a photo with the other hand. Best I could do.


  1. top two favorite quick and dirty goat cheese laced dinners:

    Recipe No. 1:

    2 parts goat cheese to 1 part pesto. blend. toss with hot pasta and roasted tomatoes.

    Recipe No. 2 (aka tonight's dinner)

    Slice open a fat fresh ripe fig (cut off stem end and make a big deep "x" in the fig). Stuff it with a teaspoon (tablespoon?) of goat cheese. Take a piece of melt-in-your-mouth prosciuto and wrap it around the sides of the fig (eg to hold it together stuffed with all that luscious cheese). Put it on a plate. Do it several more times (2 -4 figs per person). Then lightly drizzle the whole plate with some good honey. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of red wine.

    (now I have to go buy some goat cheese!)

  2. Speaking of lemon and goat cheese, I am eating the zucchini lemon goat cheese pizza RIGHT NOW! And it is so so so good. I am embarrassed to say that I have never actually mixed lemon juice right into goat cheese before. This will keep me obsessed on the flavor, making variation after variation of all you're throwing at me, for months. You have made me a very happy girl. Ruth & Aster like it too, but they really just want the crust.

  3. sal: make me those figs and fed ex them to me. I will gladly provide you with the law firm's fed ex account number.

    katy: the lemon goat cheese combo was a revelation for me too! It's sooo good. Glad you and the girls like it. Next time I am in Hull I want to walk down the beach and see you guys. I need to see those babies in person because I can hardly handle the CUTE!


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