Goat’s cheese – a young creamy ‘fresh’ cheese – buy from:
4 slices of thick sourdough bread
Dried basilica citron flowers (from Casanova and Daughters in 7 Dials, London) or chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove
Good olive oil
For many people, Goat’s cheese evokes the raw and unpleasant smells of a farmyard. We don’t normally smell ‘cows’ when we eat our cheddar, but goat’s milk is somehow imbued with a distinctive ‘goaty’ aroma. The way round this – for those who are bothered – is to buy a very young creamy ‘fresh’ goat’s cheese. In these cheeses the taste of goat is diminished allowing other taste notes rise to the fore. Producers will say their young cheeses can taste of sweet nuts, fresh herbs, citrus and flowers.
The summer is a good time to eat these younger cheeses (as goats are still lactating after kidding in spring). The dried basilica citron flowers also evoke the rural environment, but here our senses take us to the sun-basked country gardens of Sicily, well away from the farmyard. Mild goat and dried basil flowers – a simple combination, but a taste sensation. For maximum enjoyment, eat bruschetta al fresco on a hot sunny day…
Toast four large slices of bread on both sides (the grill is preferred to the toaster). Peel a large garlic clove and cut in half. Swipe the garlic once over each slice and put back under the grill for a moment. Spread young fresh goat’s cheese generously on each slice, sprinkle with the dried basil flowers or chopped fresh basil and drizzle over good olive oil. Serve with a small salad and olives.