I do dream of goat cheese

February 11, 2010

Date Walnut Goat Cheese Spread

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.

  1. Katie @ Cozydelicious

    February 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    This is SO my kind of food! Totally addictive, goes with anything… very dangerous and very delish! I actually love the pairing of tangy goat cheese and something sweet. Believe it or not, my favorite pizza has goat cheese and honey. Anyway, I actually have everything to make this sitting at home waiting for me… I know what I’ll be doing this evening!

  2. Sarah

    February 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    This sounds excellent! My toddler really digs goat cheese (of all things) and I bet she would love this (she’d probably love it even more with prunes, because secretly she is 82 years old).

    And what a funny story about the evolution of your palate. I can relate to your story, as I’m currently trying to convince myself to like sun-dried tomatoes.

  3. Danna

    February 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Can’t go wrong with cheese and wine! This looks delicious! :)

  4. Biz

    February 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Okay, I still have an aversion (let’s not bullshit – HATE) to onions, but I heart goat cheese so much!

    I used to manage a restaurant, and the nights I worked I could order anything off the menu (except Lobster!) for dinner. I routinely ordered the goat cheese appetizer – it was a garlic crostini on the bottom that sat on thinly sliced proscuitto, and on top of the crostini was a baked goat cheese slice, then drizzled with a balsamic reduction. My mouth waters just thinking about it!

    But I do tend to have a sour/tart palate – I love sauerkraut so much I can eat it out of the can cold!

    Definitely putting this on the list of things to make this weekend – thanks!

  5. Gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com

    February 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I have had goat cheese in sweet desserts before but never thought of serving it as a dip. Great idea!
    It’s great that your palate is accepting new flavors. I keep telling my friends that tastes are totally acquired (and therefore cultural)… but if you don’t challenge yourself a little bit, you’ll miss a lot!

  6. M.

    February 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I love goat cheese and date with walnut is my favorite combination, good recipe.

  7. Anna @ unsweetenedcocoa

    February 13, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Oh, deliciousness. This looks divine!
    Hey, if you still feel the need to find some to take this off your hands, I bet I could do that much…

  8. Becky

    February 14, 2010 at 9:05 am

    YUM! I made this for a party and it was such a hit! I love the sweet/salty mix – so good!

  9. ziegen milch

    April 2, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I really love goat cheese it is really delicous. Most of the time I eat it as a dessert or use it to make a salsa.

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