Baked Goat Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

by Jenn on June 5, 2011

in Gluten Free,Salads,Vegetarian

Baked goat cheese & Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

I take a rather utilitarian attitude towards many things in life – I don’t keep mementos and souvenirs, and generally (there are a few particular exceptions like a family heirloom quilt my great grandmother made for example) only keep something around if it serves a purpose or has a defined use.  I really don’t like clutter, and it’s enough to constantly battle the inner pack rat tendencies of my husband, who until he met me kept with him even high school math exercise sheets from algebra class!  Not sure if he was trying to preserve a memory or afraid being around all this science and math in our lives if he would end up forgetting algebra, but I did eventually convince him that we no longer needed to keep high school math exercises around :)

That being said, as much as I pride myself on my “zen” attitude & philosophy of being rather anti-stuff and clutter, I do preserve moments and memories, just in a different way.  I take photos to remember those times where I saw in a magic instant how beautiful the world is.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite activities, going out and trying to capture the world in the camera as I see it through my eyes.

It’s the main reason I love to go hiking – because I love walking around outside amidst nature and being reminded of this place we live in – that the world is not just about work and deadlines and finances and stress – puffy clouds and ancient mountains gazing at their reflections don’t care about those things – they just exist – nothing more, nothing less – and in certain moments of clarity, I can sometimes see and understand.

Aletsch Glacier Hike

Those are the moments I like to create a photo – so I can remember why we all go nuts running around everywhere in the first place.  Because we all live for those moments of joy and beauty – whether they be static scenes we come across, certain events and laughter from close family or friends, a sense of self accomplishment, or just admiring the way the dying sun glistens through the trees to shine its last rays on a lone flower.

Food captures memories too, in every way a photo does not.  Food is ephemeral, it must be recreated again and again to be enjoyed, where a photo stays through time. Food is also shared – I think a large necessity of enjoying food and the emotions it creates is that who it is shared with is just as important as the flavors the tongue senses.  Though, just like a photo, food is open to interpretation, and can bring others into a memory and to experience it too.

I often use food to recreate memories, and it’s probably my most nostalgic practice.  Memories of family and friends I don’t have the luxury of seeing so much anymore, memories of magical moments when my husband and I first fell in love, memories of great times with 14 other food enthusiastic bloggers in Weimar.  One of my favorite tastes from our weekend at Plate to Page a couple weeks ago was baked & caramelized goat cheese rounds – we had them on salads at lunch, we had them with salads at dinners, and they just melted in my mouth (literally), and the fun experiences that surrounded them now represents to me so much love and appreciation for food and flavor that filled every day of our all-too-short weekend.

Baked Goat Cheese Goat cheese salad yumminess

So I made my own rounds, drizzled with honey, served in a salad with roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves, sitting atop some delightful gluten free savory tuiles my husband and I recently found at the market here en Suisse.  How either my husband or I had gone through life without baked goat cheese before I do not know – for now we most certainly will not be able to live without it.

And each time we make these, I will remember all of my new friends, their bright energies, and charming warm spirits :)

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

thepickyeater June 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

that blob of cheese with honey drizzling on it looks so good ! thts a funny story on clutter lol i keep some cards , gifts friends have given me, pictures(since there were no digicams then), school medals. this takes up one small draw. looks like i have more clutter than you ! oh yes i also have certificates n report cards frm school(but my parents saved tht) …its funny to read it now ! i know you’re laughing :D ;-) but i appreciate your effort to de-clutter its good.

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Thanks!! Ha if it all fits in one drawer then it can’t be so bad :)

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Nelly Rodriguez June 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Love the nature landscape picture and like you, I am anti-clutter and stuff. Rarely saving physical momentos, more like saving them as memories :) thanks for sharing such lovely recipe!

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Thank you so much!

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Terris-Free Eats Food June 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

What a great post and gorgeous blog. I am in complete agreement and would have to say that my richest mementos are my food memories of special times with family or friends. That is one reason I like blogging so much….each recipe allows us reminisce a bit about the first time we ate something. Absolutely love the photo series of the salad and goat cheese. You make the food look so luscious.

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Thanks! Yes that is one reason I love blogging as well – a blog can act as a living memory of all the great moments we shared around food :)

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Rosa June 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm

A splendid dish! Very summery and lipsmackingly good.

I particularly like the Aletsch Glacier hike picture.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Thanks Rosa!

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Miriam/The Winter Guest June 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I enjoy your post more everyday.

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Aww thank you – that means so much to me :)

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ilva June 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm

xoxo! I love the honey dripping on the frist diptych-brilliant!

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Aww thanks Ilva!! Still missing P2P so much…

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Emily @ Life on Food June 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Baked goat cheese salads are my favorite. The tastes just melts in your mouth so deliciously. Your pictures are beautiful. My mouth is watering.

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Thanks so much! Yeah we’ll definitely be making more baked goat cheese salads this Summer I think…

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El June 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I’m the same way. I hate clutter and rarely keep mementos around. Any memories I need are in my head…and on my plate!

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm

ha glad to know I’m not the only one!

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Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris June 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I could eat this salad every day!!

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Jenn June 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Thanks Cristina!

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rivki locker June 6, 2011 at 12:00 am

I’m like you. I hardly keep any souvenirs but I take loads of photos. this recipe looks like a keeper. Thx 4 sharing.

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Jenn June 6, 2011 at 7:53 am

Thanks so much, hope you enjoy it!

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Simone June 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

o yes I so remember those little baked beauties myself. Looks gorgeous Jenn and I just know they tasted delicious too!

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Jenn June 6, 2011 at 8:03 am

Thanks Simone!! Yep you know exactly how these taste, seriously one of my favorite foods from P2P – love that I can make them and remember everyone :)

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Meeta June 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I love this salad and make it almost every week – big on flavor and easy to make, so it was a winner when we put the P2P menu together. You are like me – I am not much of souvenirs but I do bring back foodie memories to re-create at home. So glad you liked this one. Mouthwatering shots Jenn!

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 7:59 am

Thanks Meeta, this was definitely a winner! I have a feeling I’ll be making this nearly every week now too :)

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen June 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

I’m the same way when it comes to stuff, I don’t like to keep objects that don’t have a purpose in my house. But I think that there is some purpose and value in keeping things for purely nostalgic reasons. If an object reminds me of a special time or experience, I will keep it even if it currently doesn’t have a purpose, b/c it’s purpose has become to generate that memory which is invaluable.

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I def. agree with you – I think my way of nostalgia just happens to be through food & photos :)

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InTolerantChef June 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

Ohhh yum! I love goats cheese and when it’s baked it’s fantastic! I don’t like clutter either, and don’t understand why my MIL keeps giving me photo frames and little knick knacks for presents. I usually give them away to someone else!

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Thanks so much! And haha about the regifting!

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Trey Ratcliff June 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm

That looks amazing – save me some :)

Great photos – the one at the bottom too! :)

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Thanks so much Trey!!

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Squash Blossom Babies June 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Fantastic!! This looks amazing! Well done!

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Thanks!!

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visda June 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Enjoyed reading your post a lot. Gorgeous pictures and love your point about taking some time away from stressful life. and of course love those yummy baked cheese rounds. Thanks for sharing and congrats on top 9.

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Thanks so much!! It was such a nice surprise this morning :)

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Christine June 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Jenn, looking at your photos makes me wish I could eat my computer screen. Forget teleporting people, someone needs to come up with a way to teleport food. :P

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

haha great idea – thanks Christine!

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Claire June 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm

For starters, your photography is INCREDIBLE. You are very talented. And I love goat cheese, so I want to eat the pictures right off the screen.

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Jenn June 7, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Thank you !

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Sharyn June 8, 2011 at 6:52 am

Looks like I am in your husband camp on the clutter – but working on being in yours. It is a freeing experience to let something go, though a long journey. Love the honey on the goats cheese. We experienced that in Greece and it is such a wonderful combination. Love the photography too.

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Jenn June 8, 2011 at 7:41 am

Thanks!! I think it is totally freeing and stress relieving to get rid of clutter – but yes it can be a long journey – especially determining what is clutter vs. what is actually worth keeping…

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Jeanne @ CookSister! June 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm

LOL – I am more like your husband – a total pack-rat! I only threw away (most of…!) my school exercise books in March this year, and that was only because my dad passed away and my childhood house where they currently reside has to be sold :o) At the same time, I also do what you do – capture moments on my camera. i feel quite unsettled if I do not capture a memory somehow on film – and it is only by looking back ot old photos that you realise all the stuff you would have forgotten, but for the photo! I also fell in love with this salad over that golorious Plate to page weekend – what a pity my other half is not a goat’s cheese fan! Will enjoy yours vicariously :) Gorgeous shots – is that landscape HDR??

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Jenn June 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Jeanne! Ha I guess that means you don’t have to share if you make them (sometimes that can be a very good thing!) – I think those salads were a big hit with everyone that weekend…..
and yep, the landscape is an HDR :)

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Linda June 9, 2011 at 2:54 am

That’s really funny about the math exercises, but having three boys, I could see a guy doing that.

The goat cheese does look melt in your mouth. I’m not that familiar with goat cheese. I have used it a little since going dairy free, but I thought chevre was another name for it.

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Jenn June 9, 2011 at 8:53 am

You’re right about the chèvre, I’m fixing that – there are different types of goat cheese and after some research I now know that chèvre is a generic term for all goats cheese – I had always associated chèvre with the very soft spreadable goat cheese and wanted to clarify to use one that could actually be made into slices and not just spread with a butter knife. It’s fixed now, thanks.

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Jessica June 9, 2011 at 7:40 am

OMGosh. I am so incredibly jealous of the beautiful places you get to see and photograph!

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Jenn June 9, 2011 at 8:54 am

Thanks Jessica!

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Lynn June 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I could definitely use this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it!

Food can bring me back to a certain time in my life, too. For example, I had quite an impressive pesto-making phase back in college, and to this day, I remember those days every time I smell fresh pesto.

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Jenn June 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Glad you like it! Ooooh what a great memory with pesto, love it!

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 12, 2011 at 3:44 am

Baked goat’s cheese is my favourite <3 So summery, simple and stylish!

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Jenn June 12, 2011 at 8:38 am

Thanks!

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tasteofbeirut June 29, 2011 at 5:08 am

This is a meal after my own heart! I seem to love tomatoes more when they are baked and of course, could not resist this plump goat cheese beauty!

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Jenn June 29, 2011 at 7:25 am

Thanks! I’ve been buying goat cheese regularly now just to make salads like this, I def. cannot resist :)

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