If you're going to make party food, make sure you cram a lot of party in there. That's why we're armed with Chopped champion, chef Eric LeVine's new book, Small Bites Big Flavor, for the entertaining season ahead. It's full of innovative things on sticks, small plates and other reasons to justify another cocktail or two. Sure, you can put out a fruit and cheese plate. Or you could combine the fruit and cheese into a dish that's every bit as good-looking.
The combination of fruit and cheese has always been a staple in every traditional kitchen. By adding the citrus zest to this dish you have taken a step into the culinary wow zone. This is a spread that has complex flavors, fruit undertones and a hint of earthiness from the walnuts. Sit back and enjoy this spread and transport your palate to a happy place.
- 2 cups walnuts, divided
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 cup sliced red grapes
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces high-quality goat cheese, softened
- Coarsely chop 1 cup walnuts; chop the remaining cup of walnuts finely. Place finely chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the honey, 3/4 cup sliced grapes, herbes de Provence, coriander, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Slowly mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Line an 8-to-10-ounce soufflé cup with plastic wrap.
- Soften goat cheese to a spreadable point. Use a piping bag or spoon, fill the bottom 1/2 inch of the plastic-lined soufflé cup (this will be the top) with the goat cheese.
- Add 1/2 cup of the rough-chop walnuts. Sprinkle half the remaining sliced grapes over the goat cheese. Pipe or spoon more goat cheese on top of the grapes, covering them completely. Spoon in about 1/2 inch of the walnut-grape mixture. Repeat with a layer of goat cheese, the remaining grapes, the remaining rough-chop walnuts, and a final layer of goat cheese (this will be the bottom).
- Fold the plastic over the contents of the soufflé cup. Refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to use the spread, open the plastic wrap and invert a plate over the soufflé cup. Turn the soufflé cup over, separating it from the goat cheese spread. Serve with crackers or bread.
Try out these recipes with goat cheese on Food Republic: