- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh goat cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon piment d'Espelette pepper (see Note) or hot paprika
- 1 quart extra-virgin olive oil
- 20 cooked baby artichoke hearts, from the deli counter
- 1 cup red cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- 1 cup Niçoise olives
- Toasted baguette slices, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
- In a standing mixer, using the paddle, blend the goat cheese with the toasted pine nuts, rosemary, thyme and piment d'Espelette. Alternatively, blend the cheese in a bowl using a wooden spoon. Season with salt. Shape rounded tablespoons of the seasoned cheese into balls.
- Pour 1 inch of olive oil into a tall 1-gallon glass container. Layer the cheese balls, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and olives in the container with enough of the remaining olive oil to cover. Let marinate at room temperature for 24 hours. Serve with the toasted baguette.
The recipe can be assembled, minus the tomatoes, and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Add the tomatoes shortly before serving.
The fruity, mildly spicy piment d'Espelette from France's Pays Basque region is available from L'Epicerie (866-350-7575 or lepicerie.com).