For my birthday, my girlfriend Patti gave me the book, Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl. I was intrigued to read it as it was Ms. Reichl’s memoirs of her becoming a restaurant critic, not that I want to become one, just curious as to how people people get their start in such a profession. It certainly captured my interest and when I finished reading it, I felt it could have been longer. Perhaps now I need to read her first book, Tender at the Bone (Growing Up at the Table), which was a best seller. At any rate, Ms. Reichl has a few recipes included in some of the chapters and this one is from Wolfgang Puck back in 1983 when he served this appetizer at the White House during the economic summit of 1983.
1/2 lb. log of soft mild goat cheese, cut crosswise into 16 equal pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 baguette, cut into 16 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick
Arrange the cheese slices in a shallow dish just large enough to hold them in one layer and sprinkle them with thyme and pepper, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Marinate the cheese for 1 hour at room temperature, covered.
Preheat broiler. Broil the bread slices on a broiler pan 4 to 5 inches from the heat, turning them once, until golden. Top each toasted slice with a piece of marinated cheese, pressing slightly if necessary to fit the cheese to the toast, and drizzle the toasts with the remaining olive oil. Broil again, 4 to 5 inches from the heat, until the cheese is slightly melted and hot (1 to 2 minutes). Serve Warm.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Delicious! I used fresh, unripened goat cheese (chèvre,) which has enough zing to perk up almost any dish, and was lovely on the toasted bread slices. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.