Roasted Garlic Yogurt Cheese Crostini

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Last month, I searched through my cookbooks for a new party appetizer with a unique flair. While flipping the pages of “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell with Sandy Gluck, I came across an intriguing recipe with yogurt cheese in the name. What’s yogurt cheese? I wondered. Does it require me finding and purchasing rennet or cultures? The short answer was that I wouldn’t need anything I couldn’t find in my refrigerator or at the Lexington Co-op. I was pumped to try a novice cheese-making experiment. Here’s the recipe from the Beekman Boys:

Roasted Garlic Yogurt Cheese Crostini

  • 6 ounces goat milk yogurt
  • 1 bulb garlic (~2 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 thinly sliced baguette rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth or a paper towel (or use a paper coffee filter). Spoon in the yogurt, place the sieve over a bowl to catch the whey, refrigerate, and let drain for at least 8 hours. (The longer the yogurt drains, the firmer the cheese will be.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. With a paring knife or scissors, remove the very top (not the root end) of the garlic bulb, cutting about 1/2 inch down. Place the garlic bulb in the enter of a small sheet of foil. Drizzle the cut top of the garlic bulb with 1 teaspoon of the oil and enclose the garlic in the foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the garlic packet yields to gentle pressure.
  4. While the garlic bakes, place the baguette rounds on a large baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake the baguette slices alongside the garlic for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Cool on a rack.
  5. Remove the garlic packet from the oven and let the garlic cool in the packet. When it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic into a small bowl. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, and mash.
  6. Transfer the yogurt (which should now be quite firm) to a medium bowl. Fold in the roasted garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To serve, spread about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the yogurt cheese over each slice of baguette.

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The result was delicious from the first taste lick of my spoon to biting into the prepared yogurt cheese topped baguette. The sweetness of the roasted garlic with the bright taste of the lemon zest played perfectly with the smooth, tangy yogurt cheese.

Nevertheless, I noticed a thing or two I would experiment with next time. It said my yogurt cheese should be “quite firm,” and I didn’t find mine to be firm, even with an extra two hours in the refrigerator. Next time, I would intentionally use a different brand of yogurt if I can find one, just to see if it makes a difference in the texture.

I could see this same yogurt cheese being enhanced with some fresh herbs chopped and stirred in or sprinkled on top of each round. In fact, I felt so strongly about that that I added the chives at the last minute before topping the baguette pieces. The original recipe doesn’t call for it.

I haven’t encountered many dishes that use goat milk yogurt, but I am a fervent fan of goat cheese, so I highly recommend this if you like goat cheese. Some find it too pungent for their taste, but most people I know don’t notice it is different (than cow’s milk) when paired with other flavors they love. I used my remaining yogurt to marinate some chicken and the flavor was incredible.

About Nina

Nina lives in Buffalo, NY. An adventurous home cook, she loves to eat, cook, bake & enjoy life. She writes/blogs about food, tweets adventures & other passions.

13. February 2012 by Nina
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