It’s the infused oil that gives this goat cheese an intense and exciting flavor. The marinated goat cheese is also very good used as a filling for the center stalks of celery or inside Belgium endive cups. In terms of technique, since goat cheese tears easily, cut the goat cheese with dental floss rather than a knife.

Serves 8

  • 12 1-ounce logs of soft goat cheese, about 1 inch in diameter, chilled
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole pepper corns, “tricolor” mixture
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup slivered fresh basil or mint leaves, or cilantro springs
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange skin
  • 30 of your favorite crackers or Belgium endive leaves

Using dental floss, cut the goat cheese into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place slices in a single layer in a Pyrex pie plate or baking dish. In a small saucepan, combine the oil and peppercorns. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, basil and orange. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the peppercorns begin to “pop,” about 2 minutes. Immediately stir in the garlic mixture. After 5 seconds of stirring, pour the hot oil mixture over the cheese. Can be completed to this point up to 48 hours before serving with all food refrigerated.

To serve: When the cheese is chilled, transfer the cheese to a decorative plate. Pour the oil over the top. Serve at room temperature or chilled with crackers or Belgium endive leaves.