Making Chevre de Provence
Goat cheese medallions preserved in olive oil and herbs.
My family and I like to try out new things, or new versions of familiar things - especially when we are doing our Easter Baskets. For 2013, we decided to try a recipe that caught my attention some time ago. There were a few things in the original recipe we either weren't able or didn't want to do, so we did what we usually do.
We winged it.
Here is our version of Chevre de Provence; preserved goat cheese medallions. I hope you give it a try, and enjoy it as much as we did!
goat cheese medallions
small bay leaves
sprigs of rosemary
Also, either an air and liquid tight jar large enough to hold all the ingredients, or individual canning jars large enough to hold one medallion each.
Prepare your ingredients
In our version of this recipe, we used a 300g log of goat cheese, which we cut into 8 medallions. This was double what the original recipe called for, so we had to adjust everything else to match.
For a jar, we reused one that once held garlic stuffed olives - it turned out to be the perfect size for this recipe - but any jar that's large enough can be used, so long as it can be tightly sealed. A 1 quart canning jar would do rather well. Alternatively, you can use tiny canning jars, just large enough for 1 medallion each, to serve these as individual appetizers. Whatever you use, give it a good scalding before starting this.
Wash the fresh herbs and let dry while you measure the remaining ingredients, slice the garlic cloves and cut the goat cheese into medallions. Take care while cutting the medallions, as goat cheese is quite soft and tends to want to break apart.
Start by placing a sprig of rosemary at the bottom of your jar or jars. Add a few peppercorns, a bay leaf, some slivers of garlic and a sprinkle of thyme, then gently add a layer of goat cheese medallions on top of it all.
Add another layer of rosemary, a bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic slivers and thyme, then top with more cheese medallions. Our jar was large enough to do 2 layers of goat cheese medallions. Continue layering as needed for the size of your jar, finishing with a layer of herbs and peppercorns, pushing some sprigs of rosemary in spaces along the sides of the jar as well.
If making individual serving jars, divide the ingredients by the number of jars. For each jar, place half the allotted herbs and peppercorns on the bottom, add a goat cheese medalion, then top with the remaining herbs and peppercorns.
Add the oil
Begin filling the jar (or jars) with basil infused olive oil. Be sure to get as much of the dried basil in the bottle out with the oil. Top up any remaining space with regular Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Make sure the cheese is completely covered and bring the oil level to about 1 inch from the top of the jar.
Seal and refrigerate
Once the jar is filled with oil, cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 week.
While refrigerated, it is normal for the olive oil to thicken and become opaque.
Ready to serve
After a week, remove the jar from the refrigerator and let it sit until it reaches room temperature.
If you are using individual jars, you can then heat them by placing them in a water bath and heating them in the oven. Once warm, the medallions can be eaten straight from the jar as an appetizer.
If you used one large jar, remove the rosemary sprigs and bay leaf from the top. Very gently remove the first layer of medallions and transfer to a plate or another container. Remove the next layer of rosemary sprigs and bay leaf, then transfer the remaining medallions out of the jar.
Using a fine sieve, strain the oil remaining in the jar into a sealable container. Reserve this oil! Strained herbs can be discarded.
If the medallions won't be used right away, place into a sealable container and add just enough strained oil to cover the cheese and seal the container. This is what we did to prepare them for use in our Easter baskets.
When ready to serve, place medallions on a serving plate and use as a spread on plain crackers or pieces of hearty bread. Enjoy!!
The reserved oil is packed with flavour and excellent to use anywhere you would normally cook with olive oil.
These are the medallions we had in our family Easter basket. Our Easter Sunday brunch is made up entirely of the contents of our baskets, and this cheese went very well with the home baked bread our basket also contained.
There is a lot of flavour packed in these little medallions! The entire family loved them. They were also very easy to make, so I can see us making this fairly regularly. A definite hit.
As for the reserved oil, there was enough to use in a few different things, but the best of all was when I used the last of it to brown beef pieces for a stew. It added so much flavour! So this recipe gives double the enjoyment; the delicious chevre de provence to eat as is, plus a flavoured oil to cook with!
Our version of Chevre de Provence in an easier to read format.
Prep Time: about 1/2 hour
Total Time: 1 week
Serves: about 8
- Goat cheese - 300g package
- 1 -2 tsp peppercorns
- 4 -8 cloves garlic
- 4 bay leaves (may need more or less)
- 4 -8 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh
- 1 - 250ml bottle basil infused olive oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - enough to cover ingredients
- Carefully slice the goat cheese log into 8 medallions of equal size.
- Layering instructions if using 1 large jar.
- Place a sprig of fresh rosemary at the bottom of your jar. Add 1 bay leaf, a few peppercorns, garlic slivers and thyme.
- Carefully place a layer of goat cheese medallions on the herbs. Add more rosemary, peppercorns, garlic and thyme and 1 bay leaf.
- Repeat until all the cheese is layered.
- Top with remaining sprigs of rosemary, as well as pushing some sprigs down the side of the jar. Top with the remaining herbs and peppercorns.
- Pour basil infused olive oil over the goat cheese and herbs. Add more Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cover the cheese. Bring oil level to about 1 inch from top of jar, if needed.
- Seal tightly and refrigerate for 1 week. Olive oil with become thick and opaque.
- To serve, return to room temperature. Remove the larger herbs from the top, then carefully remove the garlic medallions. Strain the oil. Medallions can be divided into smaller containers and topped with strained oil to give as gifts. Otherwise, use goat cheese medallions as a spread on crackers on a hearty bread. Reserve the strained oil for cooking.
- If using individual canning jars, divide the cheese, herbs and peppercorns evenly between the jars and top with oils. Seal and refrigerate for one week. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature; individual jars can be heated in a water bath in the oven, then eaten straight out of the jar as an appetizer.
Our 2014 Modification
This year, for our Easter basket, we changed up a few things when marinating the goat's cheese.
First, we tried a new oil; truffle infused. A less expensive brand, to be sure - I suffered from sticker shock when looking at some of the other brands! Second, we changed up the herbs. The only fresh rosemary I could find when we were ready to make it didn't look too good, so I only bought a small amount. Fresh thyme, on the other hand, was plentiful and lovely, so that made up the bulk of my herbs.
Rather than making medallions, I shaped about a teaspoon of goat's cheese into balls, instead. They are adorable!
I used an actual canning jar this year. It worked well, until it was time to remove the finished Chevre de Provence. It was a challenge to get the cheese out without damaging them. I think next year, I will try moving away from glass jars completely, and try one of the variety of sealable food storage containers that are available.