My favorite brunch spot in town serves many lovely salads, but there is one in particular in which a tantalizing toast point sits on the rim of plate. Now, this is no ordinary toast point as whipped goat cheese is perfectly piped atop, and I’d confidently place a bet that there are people out there that order this salad solely for the whipped goat cheese that comes along with it. And, just so you know, if I were pointing fingers, it would be pointing one directly at myself. I can’t help it. Of all the cheeses I know, none other possesses the alluring, creamy tanginess of goat cheese. Its so complex, yet so pleasant. But my goodness gracious, when you whip some air into the stuff its not just pleasant anymore, it’s downright addictive. Truth be told, I’m always wishing for just one more bite once that toast point is gone. Hence the need to turn it into a dip. Now, we (with a finger still pointed at myself) can dive right in as many times as our hearts desire. Enjoy.
*This particular application calls for cranberry relish perfect for fall entertaining, but you could easily substitute any preserves, such as apricot, strawberry or even blueberry.
- 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
- 3/4 cup Cold Heavy Whipping Cream
- 8 ounces Fresh Goat Cheese room temperature
- 1 cup TAK's Cranberry Relish or store-bought preserves of your choosing, room temperature*
- Add pecans to a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Allow to cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Add cream to the chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Alternatively, add the cream to a medium-sized chilled mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer. Mix on medium-high speed for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a small bowl and set aside.
- If using the stand mixer method, replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment. Add the goat cheese to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it appears slightly softened and spreadable. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream and mix on low, just until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in half of the remaining cream, resisting the urge to stir. Fold in the remaining cream.
- Add half of the goat cheese mixture to a small serving vessel and spread into an even layer. Top it with a 1/2 c of cranberry compote and spread into an even layer. Add remaining goat cheese atop the relish and working from the center outward, spread to the edges of the serving vessel. Place remaining compote across the top and spread across the top and sprinkle with toasted pecans.
- Serve alongside toast points, water crackers, sliced apples and pears.
*Do not spoon warm cranberry relish across the goat cheese.