Saturday, December 20, 2008

Recipe for Roasted Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Holiday Spread

Roasted Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Spread(Edit 2009: Kalyn's Kitchen is part of Holiday 2009 at Oprah.com, and this is one of the recipes being featured there. There are also lots more holiday offerings in the Christmas Recipes on Kalyn's Kitchen. Welcome to anyone visiting from Oprah.com!)

The combination of tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese is one of my favorite flavor trios, and I loved it in this holiday spread for crackers, which was also delightfully red and green. This recipe was quite honestly inspired partly by the fact that I had slow roasted tomatoes and frozen basil in my freezer, since it was snowing like crazy in Salt Lake and I didn't want to go to the store. However if you don't have those two ingredients, I'm thinking you could make something very similar to this with sun-dried tomatoes and pesto; see suggestions in the recipe. (Thanks to Chris from Mele Cotte who sent me the charming chile-pepper knife I'm using in the photo.)

I combined 1/2 cup slow roasted tomatoes and 1/4 cup frozen basil in the bowl attachment of my immersion blender and pulsed it five times, until tomatoes are barely chopped but ingredients are combined. You could do this in a food processor too.

Remove the tomato/basil combination to a small bowl, then add cottage cheese, pulse to blend, then crumble in goat cheese and blend together. (No need to worry about cleaning out the blender bowl because you'll be combining the ingredients anyway.)

Then add cheese mixture to the tomatoes and basil and gently combine. Don't stir too vigorously because you want the green flecks from the basil to still be separate from the red.


Roasted Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Spread
(Makes about 2 cups of spread, recipe inspired by Walnut-Basil Cheese Spread in Southern Living Christmas Cookbook, a very old cookbook where I've found a lot of good holiday recipes.)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup slow roasted tomatoes (or use 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes)
1/4 cup frozen basil, thawed (or use about 1/3 cup basil pesto)
6 oz. goat cheese (the type that comes in a log, such as Chevre)
1/2 cup cottage cheese (I used low fat)
whole grain crackers, for serving

Instructions:
Put tomatoes and basil in bowl of immersion blender or food processor and pulse about 5 times, until tomatoes are chopped and mixture is well combined. (For sun-dried tomatoes, I would microwave them with a bit of hot water to soften, then put in processor bowl and pulse the tomatoes a few times before adding the basil.) Remove tomato/basil mixture to a bowl.

Put cottage cheese in processor bowl and pulse until mixture is blended. Then crumble in goat cheese and pulse until cheeses are blended together. Put cheese mixture in the bowl with tomato/basil mixture and gently combine. Chill mixture for a few hours before serving. Serve with whole grain crackers, French bread, or whole wheat pita bread.


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This is my entry for Holiday Herb Blogging, hosted this week by the new WHB mistress Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. If you'd like to share a holiday themed recipe, you have until 3:00 P.M. tomorrow to send it to Haalo. After that, WHB will resume on December 29, and here is who's hosting Weekend Herb Blogging.


South Beach Suggestions:
This spread is made with low-glycemic ingredients, so when it's served with whole grain crackers or whole wheat pita bread, it would be a pretty South Beach Diet friendly option for holiday parties, although goat cheese is probably a "once in a while treat" for South Beach dieters.

More Appetizer Options for Holiday Parties:
Heart-Healthy Shrimp dip Served with Veggie Dippers
Cilantro Salsa Dip
Stuffed Mushrooms with Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives
Tuna Mousse or Spuma di Tonno
White Bean and Artichoke Dip with Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips

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22 comments:

  1. anything with roasted tomatoes is nomnom to me :)

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  2. I wouldn't be surprised if this found it's way onto our Christmas table...thanks Kalyn!

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  3. I made a few similar dips the day before yesterday for a party. I made a cheese dip with cream cheese, parmesan, & romano with some olive oil & basil. I also made feta salsa with crumbled feta, kalamata olives, oven roasted tomatoes and parsley - yum yum.

    I'll be trying this soon!

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  4. Roasted tomatoes...mmm... I really like the use of the cottage cheese!

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  5. I've been loving goat cheese as a spread ingredient this year - it helps that my Costco has a high quality and very affordable log!
    The sun-dried tomato option sounds delicious, and I also think tossing a few chopped olives in would be nice.

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  6. Definitely a winning combination!!

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  7. Glad people like the sound of this, and I love some of the other ideas people are sharing in comments too!

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  8. Beautiful colors for the holiday table, and I always have cottage cheese and of course those slow-roasted tomatoes are in the freezer, too. Great use of "found materials" for this dip!

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  9. This recipe sounds and looks very nice, Kalyn. Next summer I really must make some slow-roasted tomatoes.

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  10. Goat cheese is so wonderful isn't it? I love that these are ingredients that I am likely to have on hand too and could whip up when guest pop over at the last minute. The cottage cheese surprised me though. THANKS!

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  11. Simona, you MUST make some roasted tomatoes this summer. They will change your life, I promise.

    Mandy (and Kevin) the inspiring recipe actually used sour cream instead of cottage cheese, but I didn't have any sour cream. I did like the cottage cheese in it.

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  12. I love these kind of dip recipes. I wish I went to more parties, so that I could use them more often!

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  13. Kalyn, this is a wonderful way to get some Mediterranean flavours onto the winter table...good one!

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  14. This looks so good! I love roasted veggies and their smoky flavor and no one can argue with goat cheese!

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  15. This dip sounds like a winner.

    Happy Holidays!

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  16. I have a recipe with similar flavors, just a different presentation. All of my cooking classes love it, so maybe I'll post it too. The flavor combination is one of my favorites!

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  17. Hi Kalyn! I found your blog while I was searching for low carb cookies and found your meringue ones. :) Just like to say thanks.

    I also have a food blog for diabetics. Can I add a link of your page to my blog?

    Thanks!

    Maria

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  18. Pam, I know what you mean about the parties. I'm such a homebody around here too.

    Peter, thanks. I'm loving this as a snack.

    Maris, goat cheese, yum!

    Cynthia, thanks! And congrats on the cookbook.

    Cora, do post yours please.

    Maria, of course you can link to my blog and I'll check yours out too.

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  19. Wow, Kalyn, this looks lovely and sounds delicious.

    I really envy that you have tomatoes from your garden. The tomato crop this year was absolutely dismal (too much rain) so I didn't oven-dry any. Now I'm really kicking myself!

    We make a not unsimilar spread for Christmas using roasted red pepper, green onion, capers and cream cheese. (I made it yesterday for a party and wondered at the time about using goat cheese instead of cream cheese.)

    -Elizabeth

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  20. I love roasted tomatoes: what a GREAT idea to incorporate them into a holiday spread!!!

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  21. I made this for a party, and used a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. I drained off all the oil and followed the directions as otherwise written. I am sorry to say it was very disappointing. I think if I had used regular sun-dried tomatoes (done at home), it would have been better. The goat cheese was an expensive ingredient too, I think cream cheese would have been just as good.

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  22. Lescargot, sorry to hear you didn't like it. I love goat cheese, but if you don't like it that much you probably would prefer a different recipe.

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