A Near Perfect Food

I was raised in the South. Port Arthur, Texas, specifically, a coastal town a literal stone’s throw from Louisiana. Being so close to Louisiana, many people in my hometown were Cajuns, my father’s side of the family included. Throw ‘The South’, ‘Texas’ and ‘Cajuns’ all together and you end up with people who overflow with hospitality and share a deep, intense love for food.

The house in which I was raised was no exception. My parents were two of the most hospitable people I’ve ever encountered. Someone was always in the guest room, on the sofa, borrowing the car, invited to dinner. Additionally, our life as a family revolved around food. What and when we would eat took precedence over just about everything else.

I tend to live by the example my parents set. If someone enters my home, their comfort is my goal and I feel embarrassed unless they immediately have at least the offer of food and drink. Given the house is a bit of a train station, with a parade of people coming in and out the door, I’ve developed some staples over the years I can throw together quickly or, better yet, have sitting in the fridge ready for use. The goat cheese spread below is first on the list, given the ease with which it is prepared. Oh, and then there’s this: it tastes really, really good. No, really. Even people who think they don’t like goat cheese devour this.

This stuff is so good, in fact, most of my friends get irritated if it doesn’t hit the counter soon after they arrive. Where’s the goat cheese? On the rare occasion I’ve been slacking and haven’t a ramekin of this waiting in the fridge, watch out.

Trust me. There is a reason this is the first food item I am posting on this blog.


– 3 cloves garlic, peeled
– Fresh Rosemary  (1 or 2 sprigs)
– 11-14oz log of quality unflavored goat cheese, in big crumbles
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– Olive oil
– Fresh black pepper

1) In the food processor, chop the cloves of garlic and the fronds off the rosemary sprigs.

2) Add the goat cheese, the lemon juice, and a few grinds of black pepper (don’t be shy with the black pepper) along with a couple of healthy glugs of good quality olive oil. Start the processor and blend, adding olive oil as needed. You want it creamy but not too soft and smooth, not runny. Add more pepper to taste if you like.

3) I put it in small ramekins such as in the picture. This recipe will usually fill three or four 4-oz ramekins. Cover them with foil and stick in the fridge. You can serve them right away but they get even better over time.

4) Before serving, take the spread out of the fridge and let sit on the counter for about 15 minutes so that it softens just a touch.

5) Serve with crackers, fresh rustic bread and/or crudite. Oh, and white wine. Always “serve with wine”, right?

** This keeps in the fridge at least a week. I’ve waited much longer to serve it, once over three weeks, and no one has yet died. It serves many purposes beyond a perfect appetizer. This spread is terrific to have waiting when you come home from a vacation, for instance, and the house is usually empty of good food. Or on a night when you don’t have time to cook and want a light supper. A ramekin of this spread, some olives and some good crusty bread is a great dinner for me. Additionally, some studies indicate goat cheese doesn’t cause the lactose problems of other types of dairy. Give it a try.

31 thoughts on “A Near Perfect Food

  1. Love the site, love the concept. Two of my favorite things. Let’s pick a night and eat some good food while we enjoy a good film.
    I did enjoy The Artist. Fun to see a well done silent and the score was fantastic. Saw a couple good films at Sundance this year – look for Middle of Nowhere, Detropia and Safety Not Guaranteed. Looking forward to trying the dip. ;o)

  2. I love it! “I’ve waited much longer to serve it, once over three weeks, and no one has yet died.” Perfect. My philosophy of feeding my friends is “as long as everyone survives the soup course, we’re good!”

  3. Tom, this makes me want to run out and get some goat cheese! And brings up fond memories of visiting at your folks’ house.They were indeed two of the most gracious people, always enjoyable to be with. Whatever else about Port Arthur, it did blend those amazing cultures of food, music and southern hospitality. Beautiful blog you’ve created!

  4. You should take a look at the movie ARTOIS THE GOAT! It is about following your dreams and yes, it includes wonderful goat cheese! It was written and directed by Cliff and Kyle Bogart with close family ties to Port Arthur, TX! Cliff and Kyle spend every holiday in Port Arthur with the entire Linthicum family.

    You can find Artois the Goat at http://www.artoisthegoat.com

  5. I’ve made a spread just like this for years, but never with the lemon juice. I usually add thyme too, and a splash of olive oil. I’ll try the lemon next.
    Good stuff.

  6. As one who has had this spread at your home many time, I must say: it truly is “a near perfect food.” Next time you generously serve some up to me, give me a heads up, so I can make some broad dipping croutons to go with it!!!!

    Congratulations on the blog, BTW, I’m very excited for you 🙂

  7. I’m so glad you posted this recipe! I’m still savoring it’s goodness. Looking forward to more!

  8. MMM can’t wait to try that! Every “Tom” recipe I have tried is never quite as good at my house than when I am at your house 😉

  9. I LOVE this goat cheese spread! And the recipe sounds easy. However, if I don’t have a food processor, can I use an app on my iphone?

  10. I can’t wait to try this recipe…..I know it will remind me of your Mom! I’m looking for that elusive and stellar banana pudding recipe that is to die for that has to be somewhere in your archives.

    1. I will eventually do a post on this.. but for now, this is the best ever banana pudding. I do it in the mason jars like they show. But I use whipped cream to top it as I am not a huge meringue fan

  11. Hello! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out
    from Houston Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the
    great work!

  12. Hi there… Who knows if you’ll ever see this. I hesitate to ask this, since you said this is the best, but what if I’m not crazy about Rosemary? Dies a substitution spring to mind?

    1. hey! First, the rosemary is not really present so you might still like it. But I have done versions with other herbs and it is still excellent. Thyme would be a great substitution, or a variety of your favorite herbs. If you try, let me know!

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