This is my new go-to appetizer recipe. It is tasty, looks impressive (see my serving tips), and is relatively inexpensive. I modified the recipe so I included my version and also the original recipe.
11 oz goat cheese (because that's the package size that I got from Trader Joe's, lol)
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
20 Katamala or green olives (pitted)
2/3 cup olive oil
1. Roll the goat cheese into small (bite-size) balls, then flatten them.
2. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together until well blended.
3. Pour over goat cheese.
4. Marinate refrigerated for 2 to 4 hours. Any longer than that and the goat cheese will start to darken from the marinade. It still tastes good, but isn't as attractive. If you don't mind the color change, you can make this ahead and marinate the cheese for a few days. Let sit at room temperature for about half an hour before serving.
I served this with crackers. Surprisingly to me, rustic crackers like rye crisp held up better than plain crackers like water crackers. The original recipe called for crostini, but I think that plain sliced French bread would also work.
The cheese rounds look more impressive when served on a flat, rimmed serving tray rather than piled in a bowl. Also, you can sprinkle extra olives around the cheese for filler.
I think you could also just make the marinade and pour it over the cheese and let your guests take as big a hunk as they want, lol.
The original recipe
6 oz goat cheese
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon black pepper
10 green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Roll cheese into a 4 inch log, then slice into 1 inch think rounds.
Place in a shallow dish.
Whisk the rest of the ingredients together until well blended. Pour over the goat cheese and marinate, refrigerated for 2 hours to 1 week.
Serve with crostini (grilled French bread rubbed w/olive oil and fresh garlic).