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
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to spice)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted or San Marzano, if possible
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 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 1/4 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.