February 11, 2010
If someone had told me five years ago that in 2010 I’d lie in bed concocting recipes for sweet and savory goat cheese spreads, or day dream about goat cheese baked with herbs and pizza topped with goat cheese and caramelized onions, I would have (nicely) called them crazy. Hate is such a strong word, but I hated creamy goat cheese. I figured it was just one of my few taste aversions, similar to how some people strongly dislike the taste of onions or fish or capers even if they’ve never had a bad experience with them. I loved cow’s milk feta and blue cheeses, but soft goat’s milk cheeses didn’t fly with me. And then, about two years ago, something changed, my palate got a grip, and suddenly goat cheese wasn’t so repulsive. The more I ate it the more I enjoyed its tangy flavor. And as of late, I’ve been having mad cravings for it. Stubborn as I may be, I would have to acknowledge that the aforementioned crazy person’s prediction was true. I do dream of goat cheese. Which brings me to this ridiculous spread.
This is bad. Really, really bad. Because it’s terribly, terribly good. Anything that makes me want to leap out of bed in the morning has to be darn good. Forget my morning spoonful of peanut butter. I’ll take a scoop of this spread, thank you very much. I need to find someone to take this off my hands.
I’ve been spreading this on toast for breakfast. And snacking on it mid-afternoon with crackers. And enjoying it from a spoon after work. This would be a perfect morning treat for weekend guests. You could also serve it as an hors d’oeuvre alongside a selection of cheeses with toast points and fruit. Or make up a batch just for you, yourself et vous. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Date Walnut Goat Cheese Spread
- 6 ounces mild creamy goat cheese at room temperature
- 3 T nonfat plain yogurt
- 1 T honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1/2 (overflowing) cup toasted walnut halves, chopped
- 8 dried pitted dates, chopped
In a food processor, combine goat cheese through salt until well blended. Add walnut halves and pulse/blend until smooth. Repeat with dates. Spread should be smooth with small “flecks” of walnuts and dates. If you find the mixture is too thick, add a bit more yogurt. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week. Serve with toast, bagels, crackers, fruit, spoons, etc.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.