An easy and delicious goat cheese appetizer with dried tomatoes and roasted peppers that's ready in just minutes and perfect for slathering on toasted bread or crackers.
This goat cheese appetizer recipe has been a staple of mine for years. It's not only delicious and simple to make, it uses the garden produce I've preserved at the height of the season: dried tomatoes in olive oil and roasted red peppers in wine.
Using your homegrown produce and homemade preserves to make delicious real food is really what gardening and preserving is all about, right?
Appetizer or Lunch?
While this is a recipe I make often as an appetizer for parties or just appetizer meals (our family traditions include these types of meals on big football game days and New Years day), sometimes I'll make this just to eat for lunches during the week.
Yes, just to be able to keep it all to myself.
But it's also a great lunch with healthy protein, vegetables, and carbs. I can make this on Monday and have it for three to four days that week - unless I have to share, that is.
Any way you choose to eat this is a good way - you'll definitely be making it often once you taste it - and realize how quick it is!
5-Minute Goat Cheese Appetizer
I think this ingredient photo pretty much sums up why I like this so much:
A few, quality ingredients = amazing flavor.
- goat cheese
- dried tomatoes, preferably in olive oil
- roasted red peppers or fresh pepper to roast
- balsamic vinegar
- fresh herbs for garnish-parsley, basil, chives, etc. (optional)
If you don't have homemade dried tomatoes in oil, it's easy to purchase them from stores like Costco and Trader Joe's at good prices. And you'll want to have them on hand for quick recipes like this one!
I love to use Canned Roasted Peppers in Wine if I have some jars on hand - but you can see here that I didn't. They are a bit more time consuming to make during preserving season, so I don't get them put up every year.
When I don't have the homecanned version, I use one of these two options:
- Buy canned roasted peppers from stores (they even sell them at the Dollar Store!).
- Roast a fresh sweet red pepper - while it won't be a five minute recipe anymore, it will add only a few minutes of hands-on time.
How to Roast Red Bell Peppers
- Cut a fresh sweet red bell pepper in half and remove stem and any seeds. Note: This works best with thicker-walled sweet peppers.
- Lay the halves, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Heat a broiler on high.
- Broil the halves close to the broiler until the skins become blackened and wrinkly, anywhere from 10-15 minutes, depending on your broiler and the distance from the element (it's the one time you DO want to burn your food, lol).
- Use tongs to transfer the pepper halves to a thick baggie or bowl with a tight cover to steam for 10-15 minutes.
- Peel skins off of peppers and chop to use in any recipe.
Ta-da - you've made your own roasted red peppers! (And of course this also works for other colored sweet peppers like orange and yellow.)
Once your ingredients are ready, it's just a matter of mixing the chopped tomatoes and peppers with a bit of olive oil (using the tomato oil, if there is any, is best!), garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Spoon the topping on the log of goat cheese and sprinkle with fresh herbs if you have them. It's optional, but the added flavor of something like chopped basil can be a great addition!
Oh, and that toast? That's made from a loaf of Easy Sourdough Artisan Bread and the crunchy contrast to the goat cheese is one of the things that makes this so good, I think.
Take five minutes to make this and see how you like it best!
To Make Ahead: For the freshest presentation, prepare topping separately and store in a covered container for up to a day in advance. Pour topping on goat cheese when you want to serve.
To Store: I keep the goat cheese with the topping in the refrigerator for up to a week, eating from it daily for lunches and it's fine that way, too. Just not as pretty.
5-Minute Goat Cheese Appetizer with Roasted Peppers and Dried Tomatoes
- Knife and cutting board
- Small bowl and spoon
- Plate for serving
- 4 ounces goat cheese log plain, herb, or cracked pepper all work well
- 1/2 cup chopped dried tomatoes, preferably in olive oil*
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers**
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably from the dried tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste, optional***
- chopped herbs for garnish: basil, parsley, oregano, chives (optional)
- Place the log of goat cheese on a small serving plate, but big enough to hold the topping overflow.
- In a small bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, chopped peppers, minced garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt, pepper, or a splash more balsamic, if desired.
- Pour the tomato-pepper mixture over the cheese and top with chopped herbs, if using.
- Serve with toasted artisan bread or crackers.