Saturday, July 24, 2010


Herbs, glorious herbs!  It's amazing what a little aromatic can do for a dish. I always keep rosemary in my herb section. It's a wild fella, so you have to tame it or it'll take over your garden. I know this from experience, having struggled with a rosemary bush that grew to the size of a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade float. 

Rosemary is wonderful as a rub for lamb roast, but it really rocks as an aromatic in oil. One dish I always use rosemary for is a goat cheese and sun-dried tomato spread.

I ate this dish at the Kings Road Cafe in Los Angeles. A quaint, rustic eatery I used to frequent over a decade ago. I loved the flavor so much I made a mental note of what was in it and began preparing it at home as an appetizer at parties. At the Kings Road they served it with a beautiful carrot ginger soup.

Chevre and sun-dried tomato spread on crostini

Use a relatively shallow bowl, add a good 1/4 - 1/2 inch of your best olive oil. Soak several peeled garlic gloves and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary in the oil to flavor it. Add strips of sun-dried tomato and squeeze out chunks of cheese from a log of unflavored chevre (goat cheese.)

Invite your guests to smear the chevre and sun-dried tomatoes on crostini (toasted baguette.) Divine! The flavor of the oil gets better as the chevre soaks. Everyone seems to balk initially at trying it, but once bitten, they become ravenous beasts, and inevitably ask for the recipe. At the end of parties my guests are always just sopping up the oil with chunks of bread.  

From the garden: Fresh rosemary. Sun-dried tomatoes. Garlic.

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