Anyone who knows me or Lisa is very familiar with our love of goat cheese. Rarely do we miss an opportunity to sneak it into a dish. So naturally I couldn’t resist trying this recipe for a baked goat cheese dip. It combines two of my favorite things: the fresh flavors of tomato bruschetta and goat cheese. While this recipe had me at goat cheese, it gets even better because you can prep it up to a month in advance and freeze it. Simply thaw it in the fridge and bake as directed when you need it. How wonderful is that? It’s perfect for last-minute get togethers.
Here in Minnesota, the snow will soon start to melt, and we’ll begin to reacquaint ourselves with our neighbors. You know, the ones we haven’t seen all winter because we scurry from car to house and back again wearing our down parkas and hats? I’m thinking this is just the snack to have ready when we emerge from hibernation. A glass of wine, some baked goat cheese dip and catch-up conversation with our neighbors…sounds like a lovely way to welcome spring to me.
Add oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, crushed red pepper and sugar and stir for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the tomato mixture to reduce and thicken. Remove from heat when it has reached the desired consistency. Stir in the basil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Use a handheld mixer to blend the goat cheese and cream cheese together. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish (a pie plate works well as does an 11 x 7 dish). Spread the cheese mixture into the dish and top with the tomato mixture.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until heated through.
Serve with assorted vegetable crudite and/or pita wedges.