If you love goat cheese, you have to try this. Serve as an appetizer or make smaller goat cheese balls and add them to your arugula and beet salad. The striking green color of the basil olive oil makes it an ideal appetizer for the holidays or a football party.
Shape the goat cheese in the shape of a football instead of a round ball. Yours will look much better than the one my son helped me shape. My husband said it looked like a dried up lemon with basil shreds on top. Not our best work but you get the idea.
This recipe came from Annie’s Eats and many people have posted it on their sites since it is so simple and delicious. I recommend making double or even triple the basil olive oil. You will want to drizzle the oil over every bite. Plus, you can jazz up a salad or hummus with a little of this basil oil.
You do not need to boil the basil for 30 seconds and then shock it in cold ice water unless you want the stunning green color. It tastes the same either way. If you want the really easy route, then go to your favorite olive oil boutique and buy basil infused olive oil. In Atlanta, Oli & Ve has gourmet olive oils and vinegars and you can find basil oil at their Buckhead, Vinings and Roswell locations. Buy very mild olive oil if you do take the time and make your own basil oil from scratch using the directions below.
Recently, many people have asked me for gluten free recipes so I have provided a gluten free, vitamin rich option using pine nuts instead of panko crumbs. I love both. The pine nut version is easier to make since the garlic gets minced in the pine nut crust. Do not add garlic to the Panko Parmesan coating or it will be overpowering.
1) Remove goat cheese from refrigerator to let come to room temperature.
2) Cut off about 1.5 x 1.5″ square of Parmesan Reggiano. Place in your food processor and chop to small pieces. (If making the gluten free, pine nut crust, add half of a large clove of garlic.Do not add garlic to the Panko crust. ) Add 1/4 cup of Panko or pine nuts and pulse until they are finely ground. Pour into a bowl large enough to coat the goat cheese. Set aside and wipe out the processor bowl.
(Pine nut, parmesan and garlic crust on the left, Panko, parmesan on the right)
3) Make the basil olive oil. Wash a handful of fresh basil leaves. You want 1/2 cup of basil firmly packed into the measuring cup. Place the leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds until bright green. Then place them in a bowl of ice water to shock them so they stay bright green. Pat dry and place basil in a food processor. Add the clove of garlic if you love garlic. (My kids thought it was too spicy.) Chop and then scrape the basil (and garlic) off the sides to mix with the oil. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil and blend until green in color.
Optional, pour the basil oil through a sieve to remove all the basil pieces. Save and use for a pesto or to coat a chicken breast or some vegetables.
4) Place the softened goat cheese in a bowl or on a plate. You need 4 ounces or about 1/2 cup of goat cheese. If using the pine nuts for a crust, only mix the 1/4 teaspoon of Margarita Himalayan into the goat cheese. The garlic is already in the parmesan and pine nut crust.
If using the Panko crust, finely mince the half clove of garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of Back to Organic Margarita Himalayan Pink Salt with a zest of lime. The lime zest compliments the goat cheese and basil and the salt helps mince the garlic. Create a garlic paste using the side of the knife or back of a spoon. Mix the garlic paste into the goat cheese and blend evenly. This is important…You do not want to take a bite with a ton of garlic. Taste and add more Margarita Himalayan salt if needed. Add some freshly ground black pepper if you want.
5) Roll the goat cheese into a log, ball or football shape and coat with the Panko or the Pine nuts. You will need to press the pine nut crust onto the goat cheese. Pour 1/2 cup of basil oil into a bowl and place the Parmesan Encrusted Goat Cheese in the center. Garnish with small basil leaves. Serve with a warm, sliced baguette or crackers. Enjoy!
Why You want to Eat This!
- Basil is rich in vitamin K, iron, vitamin A, fiber, manganese, magnesium, and calcium as well as contains flavonoids and volatile oils. These flavonoids protect your cellular structures and DNA from damage by radiation and free radicals. The volatile oils in basil act as an anti-bacterial. Basil can fight certain bacteria which has become resistant to antibiotics. In addition, basil is a powerful anti-inflammatory because it can block an enzyme in the body called COX which is the same enzyme aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen block to relieve pain. It may help rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorders. It also may improve your cardiovascular health, asthma, and osteoarthritis due to the beta-carotene. Make sure you buy organic basil to ensure it has not been irradiated which significantly reduces the beta-carotene and vitamin C. Read more.
- Margarita Himalayan Sea Salt contains 84 trace minerals including magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium. It may have the ability to lower blood pressure and cleanse toxins from the body. The organic lime zest provides you Vitamin C.
- ?Pine nuts are rich in calories, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals.
- The high caloric content of pines comes from their fats. However, the nuts are especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid (18:1 undifferentiated fat) that helps to lower LDL or ?bad cholesterol? and increase HDL or ?good cholesterol? in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
- Pine or cedar nuts contain essential fatty acid (?-6 fat) pinolenic acid. Recent research has shown its potential use in weight loss by curbing the appetite. Pinolenic acid causes the triggering of hunger suppressant enzymes cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the gut. In addition, pinolenic acid may have LDL-lowering properties by enhancing hepatic LDL uptake.
- Like almonds, pines are an excellent source of vitamin E; contain about 9.33 mg per 100 g (about 62% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
- Furthermore, like almonds and peanuts, pines are free from gluten and therefore are a popular ingredient in the preparation of gluten free food formulas. Such formula preparations are in fact healthy alternatives in people with wheat food allergy and celiac disease.
- Pinenuts are excellent source of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates. These vitamins functions as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism.
- Furthermore, pine nuts contain healthy amounts of essential minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. At 8.802 mg per 100 g (about 383% of daily recommended intake), pines are one of the richest sources of manganese. Manganese is an all-important co-factor for antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. It is therefore consumption of pines helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.? read more
Annie’s Eat for the Panko Parmesan Crust Goat Cheese
Alice Park Photography for the photo of the Panko Crusted Goat cheese with baguette slices, fresh basil leaves and a lemon slice