It's my favorite time of year at The Savory Pantry . . . the new harvest of Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil is in! I love experimenting with unique ways to use this exceptional oil. Keeley personally knows the growers, Nena Talcott and Bonnie Storm, who plant, grow, harvest, bottle and even hand-label each bottle of Grove 45 in California. A couple of years ago we developed our Extra Virgin Chocolate Sorbet, which I have made for family and friends to much acclaim!
This year's recipe was inspired by grilled Halloumi cheese I often order at Zorba's, my favorite Greek restaurant here in Baton Rouge. Halloumi is a sheep's milk cheese traditionally from the Greek island of Cyprus, and has a high melting point that makes it uniquely grillable. The cheese itself is wonderful of course, but the pool of olive oil that it is served with is the real star. Halloumi isn't easy to find in stores, so I decided to substitute it with goat cheese that I did not grill.
Marinated Goat Cheese
- Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or your favorite high-quality extra virgin oil)
- goat cheese
- dried bay leaves
- fresh rosemary
- cracked peppercorns
- Slice goat cheese into 1/4" thick rounds. I warmed my knife under hot water and dried it with a towel before slicing.
- Start with an empty mason jar or air-tight container of your choice. I put a couple of bay leaves and a spring of rosemary in the bottom, and topped with a thin layer of olive oil and cracked pepper.
- Next, add a round of goat cheese, more herbs, more pepper, and drizzle with oil. Continue layering and top off with an extra "glug" of oil.
- Allow to marinate at room temperature for an hour or so, then refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from the fridge and pour everything onto a plate for an instant presentation.
- Serve chilled or allow to come to room temperature. Enjoy with crackers, warm crusty bread or pita.
- Some similar recipes online mention issues with the olive oil solidifying in the refrigerator, due to some olive oils being diluted with lesser quality oils. I am happy to report that the Grove 45 oil did not solidify and was just as viscous after refrigerating!
- After marinating, the cheese has a more spreadable texture and is less crumbly than a typical goat cheese.
- Vary this recipe with your favorite fresh herbs. I used what I had in my garden and pantry!