Chèvre is one of those fantastical cheeses that plays both sides of the fence—the sweet and the savory. This flexibility explains why it’s so easy to find in the grocery store deli. Often, you’ll find logs of the goat cheese with some sort of flavoring, because chèvre is highly receptive to that sort of thing. The offerings can be a little limited however, though pepper and honey are always represented.
Various chevres ready for giftingPhoto: Amanda Blum
Screw that. Chèvre is the perfect vehicle for all kinds of sweet and savory additions, allowing you to turn a literal blank slate of cheese into a real showstopper. Show up anywhere with your own beautifully wrapped log of chèvre, and you’re sure to be invited back. You can make these with homemade chèvre, or you can grab some plain chèvre at the store and skip the cheesemaking part.
Honey and Sea Salt Chèvre
Ingredients:1 ¼ cup of chèvre, either freshly made or store-bought, at room temperature2 tablespoons honey1 ½ teaspoons sea salt1 10-inch long square of wax paper (whatever width it comes off the roll)1 foot of twine
In a bowl, mix together the cheese, honey, and salt. Taste it and adjust accordingly; you want the honey and salt to balance each other and play off the tanginess of the chèvre.
Chevre, assembling your ingredientsChevre, assembling your ingredients
Lay out the wax paper on a clean surface, and spoon the cheese along the end closest to you, on the middle third. There should be plenty of room on the left and right side. Roll the paper over the cheese, trying to eliminate any air in the cheese log. Now keep rolling until you get to the end of the paper, and pick up the roll to twist one end until it’s tight against the cheese. Then do the other end, twisting it the same way. The cheese will form a log in the middle, and you can give it a little roll to even it out if one side is thicker. Tie the ends with twine and cut off the excess paper. Use a piece of tape or a sticker to hold the paper and label the cheese, then place it back in the fridge.
Everything Bagel Chèvre
People love this seasoning mix—really all of Trader Joe’s seasoning mixes—but you aren’t limited to their offerings. If you have a mix you love, whether it’s herbs de Provence or a dry rub, you can use that instead.
Ingredients:1 ¼ cup of chèvre, either homemade or bought, at room temperature4 tablespoons of herb mix1 10-inch long square of wax paper (whatever width it comes off the roll)1 foot of twine
In a bowl, mix together the cheese and 1 tablespoon of seasoning mix. Even if it feels like it could use more of the mix, resist the urge. We want it nice and mild, because we’re going to roll it in more of the mixture.
Rolling chevre in herb mix
Lay out the wax paper on a clean surface, and spoon the cheese along the end closest to you, on the middle third. Now, with clean, slightly wet hands, pick up the log and roll it in your hands to make it more even. Place it back on the paper.
Spoon the rest of the herb mix onto the paper and then roll the chèvre in it, coating all sides, including the ends. Now roll the paper over it, finishing as described in the Honey and Salt recipe above.
Olive, Red Pepper and Citrus Chevre
There’s a ton of flavor packed in and on this log.
Ingredients:1 ¼ cup of chèvre, either homemade or bought, at room temperature1 tablespoon of your favorite pitted, marinated olives that are roughly chopped1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes1 tsp of citrus rind1 10-inch long square of wax paper (whatever width it comes off the roll)1 foot of twine
Mix all the ingredients together in the bowl. The cheese should have a great color from the red pepper and citrus and be speckled with the olives. Taste the cheese and adjust accordingly. Follow the directions above for rolling the cheese in wax paper. Enjoy with crusty bread, and be happy.