A savory appetizer for garlic and goat cheese lovers
Christmas Morning 2014: Giant family gathering. Introducing my new fiancé to everyone. Loud and crazy in my grandma’s house. Loads of food. Pretty decorated tree. Then — my aunt walks in with a life-changing appetizer — meet this Roasted Garlic with Thyme Goat Cheese, served on crackers and warm, crusty baguette slices. I was in heaven from the first bite.
Doesn’t everyone love garlic? I love cooking with it. That distinctive flavor adds so much to every dish! Although I’m not a big fan of peeling and mincing garlic, I’ll do it for the meal!
See those green centers in my head of garlic? Those green stems develop when garlic is starting to get old. They can sometimes create a bitter taste, but (good news!!) those green stems are totally harmless and, when roasted, the savory perfection of garlic’s flavor is not affected at all. Any bitter taste is completed removed once cooked.
Of course, I’d prefer to just use fresher garlic without the green stems, but every single head of garlic I’ve gotten from my grocery store in the last months have had these darn green stems. I can’t escape them! But, like I said, ultimately they make no difference in flavor after the garlic has been cooked.
You’ll roast the garlic in a small ovenproof dish with some thyme sprigs and broth for an hour. And when you remove it from the oven, your house will smell amazing and your garlic will be soft with a more tempered flavor. If you’ve never had roasted garlic, you might be thinking, “How on earth could anyone eat garlic cloves by the dozen??” The truth is that garlic’s flavor is softened and the cloves are caramelized by roasting! It still tastes like garlic, yes, but it is far more tasty and almost sweet!
Then, you will just mix up a log of goat cheese with thyme and pepper to give the goat cheese some extra spice and flavor. By the way, goat cheese is the bomb dot com, so even if this seems completely foreign and maybe even a little gross to you, you seriously need to try it! Goat cheese has a wonderful, rich, and creamy flavor (plus less fat than cheese made from cow’s milk!) and it’s hard not to eat a log of it at a time!
The cloves, once roasted, slip right out of the papery sheath using a cheese knife. See!! So soft, spreadable, and beautiful!
Then, you will warm up a nice, crusty baguette and pull out some hearty crackers as vessels for your cheese plate. Set out all your selected vessels, the goat cheese, and the garlic, and you and your guests will spread a garlic clove on a cracker or baguette slice and then top with the goat cheese. The garlic will spread smoothly now that it’s roasted and the goat cheese on top perfectly complements the flavor!
This appetizer is a cinch to throw together and, seriously, it is going to disappear into happy people’s stomach so fast!
Couldn’t help but include my sweet aunt’s original handwritten recipe in these pics!
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 sprigs of thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 - 4 oz. log of plain goat cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top third of the head of garlic and remove as much as the outer sheath as possible. Place cut side-up in a small ovenproof dish and pour the broth over the garlic. Place the sprigs in the dish or sprinkle the dried thyme over the garlic. Cover with foil or an overproof lid.
- Cook for 1 hour. Allow to cool for several minute before removing from the pan and placing on a serving plate.
- Fold the thyme and pepper into the goat cheese and place in a small serving bowl.
- Serve with a warm baguette or crackers. Guests may top each cracker or baguette slice with roasted garlic and the thyme goat cheese.
Make gluten-free: Serve with gluten-free crackers.
If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!
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