Appetizer Turned Dinner

Monday, January 30, 2012
Not much of a weekend recap picture wise today, but that doesn't meant it wasn't a great weekend. There was organizing, cooking, and general catching up.  Just what I needed (although there is never enough time!).

Instead of the usual weekend recap, I think I'll share what has become a favorite appetizer recipe. Just in time for the Super Bowl if you need an idea!  And in the rare instance that there are leftovers, you can turn it into an easy week night dinner.

Marinated Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
From All Things Good -- Cathedral Parish of Saint Andrew

2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 Tbs capers
1/4 cup dried basil (see note below)
 ~    olive oil
 ~    goat cheese
 ~    salt

Preheat oven to 225°. Lightly oil a baking sheet, and place tomatoes, cut-side down, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 2 to 2.5 hours.  

While tomatoes are cooking, combine vinegar, garlic, capers and basil in a covered container.  When tomatoes are done cooking (they will be softened and a little carmelized around the edges) add them to the container and cover with olive oil.  Refrigerate at least overnight.  

Serve at room temperature over goat cheese with crackers, crostini or pita chips.

Note: My mom always substitutes fresh basil (julienned) for the dried basil, so that's what I do too!

Leftovers into Weeknight Supper

I made this appetizer for Supper Club and since we had a smaller group that night, there were some leftovers. Andy and I don't eat appetizers before our week night suppers (although that does sound quite lovely), so I turned it into our dinner.

Boil some pasta, whatever type you have.  I used whole wheat (still on a whole foods kick) noodles.  Put a few chunks of goat cheese in a serving bowl, and right before the pasta is finished cooking, spoon a little pasta water over the goat cheese.  The heat of the water will melt the goat cheese and the starch in the water helps make a creamy, thick sauce.  Stir the mixture until it's smooth and creamy, adding more pasta water as necessary.

Drain the noodles and toss with the cheese sauce and leftovers tomato mixture. Yum!
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