Thanks to Nandita of Saffron Trail for hosting this week. She has a wonderful 3-Pepper Pasta on her site; food for the eyes as well as the soul….plus the weekly recap!
If you are buying dried herbs at the supermarkets here in France, you will find the usual, little glass jars (green cap for herbs, tan for spices) lined up alphabetically for just under 1.50 euros for 10 grams….except Herbes de Provence. This much-loved blend of basil, marjoram, summer savory, sage, rosemary and thyme (with hints of lavender, laurel and fennel) comes in 100 gram bags for around 3 euros. Like most cooks here, I use a lot of it, both as last minute garnishes and when I can't decide or don't want a dominate herb flavor. A small amount imparts a variety of subtle flavors.
When I was deciding the menu for the week images of melting goat cheese kept flitting through my mind. I try to do seasonal cooking. It's a personal thing (I also prefer natural fibers). By trying to use only what is in season I think I get better, healthier produce, which, for 3 seasons, comes from my own garden. It also forces me to try new things rather than stick with the familiar and adds variety to our diet. In other words, the salad with warm chevre toasts was out because ….lettuce is not in season. Never letting the little things dissuade me from the food I love I came up with this alternative.
Warm Chevre Toasts on a Bed of Prosciutto
1 log chevre (goat cheese)
2 – 4 slices Prosciutto
country or whole grain
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs Herbes de Provence – or thyme, basil, tarragon mix
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs truffle oil – or other nice olive oil (don't bother with corn or canola, it's strictly for flavor)
Preheat broiler. Coarsely chop/slice Prosciutto and arrange in mound on two plates. Slice goat cheese into 1/2 inch (1.25cm) slices. Cut rounds of bread with biscuit cutter (or cup, or glass) a little larger than the rounds of cheese. Divide mustard and spread on the bread. Place one slice of cheese on top of each bread round. Mix herbs and garlic powder. Sprinkle the herbs/garlic on top of the cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly and browning around the edges. Because of the edible rind, the cheese retains its shape but is super creamy and hot inside. Arrange toasts around Prosciutto, drizzle with oil and serve. (The bread gets toasty and sufficiently crisp without toasting first.)
It had been my intent to have the chevre sitting on perfect rounds….but then I found this small treasure at the bakery: 5 grain bread studded with walnuts. Walnut breads are often served with the cheese course at fine restaurants and the pairing is wonderful. The slices were only a little too big, so I got to nibble on the trimmings…
Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Nandita of Saffron Trail. Check her site on Monday for the complete round-up of all participating sites with lots of yummy recipes…