Herb and peppercorn goat cheese

(Beatrice Peltre for The Boston Globe)
April 29, 2009

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Makes 12 slices or enough to serve 6

Slices of soft goat cheese coated with fresh herbs make a wonderful nibble to keep in your repertoire when unexpected guests call to say they're in town. Serve them as an hors d'oeuvre with wine, or set a round of the cheese beside a salad of lightly dressed greens as an appetizer. Begin with a log of plain, soft goat cheese and cut it into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Finely chop lots of fragrant herbs such as parsley, dill, coriander, lemon thyme, and mint. Spread them on a plate and add a touch of color and spice with crushed red peppercorns. Brush the slices of cheese with a top-quality olive oil and roll them in the herb mix. Arrange the coated slices on a plate and keep them covered in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Add a basket of sliced crusty baguette and a tiny bowl of fleur de sel (or your favorite sea salt). Spread the cheese on the bread, add a pinch of salt, and you're in for a lovely treat.

1 log (8 ounces) soft fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped mixed dill, parsley, coriander, lemon thyme, and mint
2 scallions (white part only), finely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed red peppercorns
1/3 cup olive oil
1 baguette, thinly sliced (for serving)
1 tablespoon fleur de sel or another sea salt (for serving)

1. Cut the goat cheese into 1/2-inch slices.

2. On a large plate, combine the herbs, scallions, and red peppercorns.

3. Brush all sides of the cheese slices with olive oil. Roll them in the herb mixture. Arrange on a plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. (You can do this 1 day ahead.)

4. Serve the slices with the baguette, adding a pinch of salt to each one.

Beatrice Peltre