Happy Super Bowl Sunday to you, happy snack day to me, and happy birthday to Sonja of A Couple Cooks! Today, I’m popping in to share a delicious appetizer from Sonja and her husband Alex’s new cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking.
The recipe features a simple, marinara-like sauce baked with goat cheese on top. Fresh basil and crusty whole grain bread take it to the next level. It’s easy to make and a definite crowd pleaser.
If you don’t have a chance to make it today, it’s also a lovely light dinner for two. Sonja and Alex recommend serving it with red wine and marinated olives, and that sounds like a good idea to me. Sonja and Alex are full of good ideas!
I think you’ll really enjoy their new book, Pretty Simple Cooking, too. It’s bursting with 100 simple, delicious, vegetarian recipes, and each recipe has its own photo.
Between the chapters, they offer 10 life lessons for a sustainably healthy approach to cooking, artfully illustrated with custom watercolors. The book will be officially released on Tuesday. Pre-order now or keep an eye out for it on bookshelves near you!
Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato Sauce
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Enjoy this goat cheese and tomato sauce dip as an appetizer or light meal. It’s creamy, saucy and easy to make. This recipe doubles easily; use a 28-ounce can of tomatoes and double the remaining ingredients. Recipe as written yields 4 appetizer servings, or a light dinner for 2.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup finely chopped white onion
- 2 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil or ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to spice)
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted or San Marzano, if possible
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Whole grain baguette or crusty bread or naan, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of the fresh basil (or ¼ teaspoon dried), and oregano, and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the white wine vinegar and sauté for 1 minute, then carefully add the tomatoes, salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow the mixture to simmer, lightly bubbling, for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired (if you want a spicier dip, add more red pepper flakes!).
- Spoon the tomato sauce into shallow baking dishes or ramekins, then add dollops of goat cheese. Bake until the cheese is warmed through, about 15 minutes. If desired, broil for a minute or two to brown the top of the cheese.
- Let the dip cool for a few minutes, then top with the remaining 1 teaspoon fresh basil (optional) and a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm, with crusty bread on the side.
Recipe Excerpted from A Couple Cooks | Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love with Real Food by Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser. Copyright © 2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Make it gluten free: The dip is gluten free. Just serve it with gluten-free bread or sturdy gluten-free crackers.
Recommended equipment: I baked this dip in two onion soup bowls from CB2 (affiliate link).