Tag Archives: goat cheese

tiny date goat cheese balls

tinylittledateballsEntertaining can be so lovely and so limiting sometimes.  I guess we could compare it to karate — perhaps you don’t want to make too many hits but the ones you do should be more effective, no?

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Radicchio, Goat Cheese, Balsamic, and Blueberry Salad

Some things are too good to leave in your past– this Radicchio, Goat Cheese, Balsamic, and Blueberry Salad is one of them.  (It was even haunting me writing about chocolate in Oregon last year!)salad with a side of apricots

Working at Greenwich Village’s Gottino a few years back, this salad frequented the seasonal menu every season, simply because if it was off for more than a few days the locals would throw a riot, glasses of Primitivo flying and wine-stained teeth murmuring sweet atrocities.

I, too, was happier when the salad was servable, albeit my version of the salad had to be modified as the original was made with pine nuts.  Instead of the allergen, I add blueberries to contribute some extra sweetness to the dish, and another texture component.

Fast-forward years later, and I am still eating this savory/kind of sweet salad brunch, day, night, whenever.  It’s so simple to make, free of all allergens (nuts, soy, egg, corn, gluten, etc) and light in lactose, as goat’s cheese is easier to digest for those with milk sensitivities.

salad with wineRadicchio, Goat Cheese, Balsamic, and Blueberry Salad

1 head radicchio (bitter small red cabbage), shaved into thin pieces

2 tbs. good-quality balsamic vinegar (the richer, the better-tasting in this dish; you want it to add sweetness)

1 1/2 tbs. olive oil or neutral oil (avoid vegetable oil)

~1/4 tsp. sea salt (fleur de sel)

ground black pepper to taste

1/3 cup fresh goat cheese

1/4 cup blueberries (dried for a more intense contrast, fresh for something more subtle)


Preparation time: 2 minutes

Serves 3-4


1. In medium salad mixing bowl, add shaved radicchio (use a large chef’s knife or a mandolin), vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.

2. Along the side of the bowl, add goat cheese, and using a knife, gradually incorporate the pieces of radicchio into the creamy cheese until every piece is coated with some goat cheese, oil, and vinegar.  This should look almost like a coleslaw.  Taste it, and if it is too bitter, add more cheese.  If it tastes too “plain” (ie like cheese or oil or lettuce) add more vinegar.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Fold in blueberries until just combined, and serve in a vertical mound on a wide bowl for something fancy and luscious.

A very practical use of things past.

brunch of the kingsMade too much choux pastry from ye ole gluten-free éclairs?

Stuff them with herbed goat cheese (easier for lactose intolerances) or whatever herbed creamy substitute that is dairy-free your heart desires.  Serve up with some smoked salmon, fresh fruit, and if you want to throw in some potato with that, you might as well call it brunch.

Yummy in the tummy.!

Tender Leeks with Olive Oil and Shallot


Mmmm.  Caramelized leeks in olive oil.  Do I need say more?

Traditionally, when you get leeks that have been julienned and brought down to a tender moist consistency, there is butter involved.  Don’t get me wrong, I cutting leeksam not opposed to the use of butter (see Clarified Butter post last week), but sometimes I just don’t feel like straight milk fat.  And my body doesn’t, either.

This side dish is ridiculously tasty, and supremely simple to make.  The hardest part is cutting the leeks.  It’s not hard.

Tender Leeks with Olive Oil and Shallot

3 tbs. olive oil, divided
1 shallot, diced
1 large leek
enough water to cover leeks while cooking
1/4 tsp. sea salt + more to taste as needed
pepper to taste

Preparation time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 3-4 as a small side, 2-3 as a larger side

leeks cut1. Wash and dry your leek.  Cut into 3” rods, and then cut those in half length-wise, and then into vertical 1/2 cm strips.

sweat out shallots2. Heat 1 tbs. oil in sauté pan over medium heat.  When warm, add shallots, and sweat out for 3 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges.  Add leeks, and add water just up to the height of the top of the leeks.

cook them3. Top with remaining 2 tbs. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. sea salt.  Increase heat to medium high.  Cook until water has reduced down completely, and leeks are soft and tender.  Stir occasionally only as water is just about evaporated.

water evaporated4. Once water has left the pan, remove from heat, and check for seasoning; add salt and pepper to taste.

leeks and goat cheeseServe with your favorite protein and a baked sweet potato or goat cheese toasts with chive for something divine.

Brunch Inspiration: Chocolate, Salmon, and a Tartine.


Perfectly crisped salmon, toast (spelt or gluten-free) with Belgian dark chocolate spread, fresh goat cheese on spelt bread (broiled in oven), fruit cup, and a freshly brewed cup of Nossa Familia coffee.

Enjoy your Sunday!