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Creamy Goat Cheeses and Sweetly Fragranced Fruits

Posted Jul 09 2010 6:13am

Goat Cheese with Fruit Compote

Assuming you can find a comfortable spot in the shade, now’s the time to go on a picnic!  Fresh fruits and cheeses, pickles and olives, pasta and potato salads tossed with crunchy vegetables…heck, if you can find a grill, you can bring along lamb kebabs, too.

But let’s say you decide to go on a last-minute picnic and you don’t have time to marinate meat or assemble a salad.  Still, I’m sure you have some interesting leftovers in your refrigerator or cupboards.  Cheese is one of the linchpins of a picnic — you could start with what you have in the cheese drawer and take it from there.

Like cheese, fruit is one of the classic picnic staples; it’s hardly surprising that it’s also the #1 accompaniment to cheese.  (And to nuts, especially buttery, rich nuts like macadamias.)  If you have any leftover fruit compote on hand, I recently discovered that the compote is a natural pair with fresh, creamy cheeses like goat cheese: the earthy tang of the goat cheese is off-set by the sweetness of the fruit.

If you don’t have any compote on hand, try topping your goat cheese (or any other soft, fresh cheese) with a spoonful of naturally sweetened jam or jelly…or a fruit chutney.  I’m seeing more and more chutneys sold alongside cheese in the grocery stores nowadays, so if you don’t have any good picnic foods on hand, you can always just stop at at reasonably well-stocked grocery store and make a beeline for the cheese section.

May your picnic grounds be smooth and grassy!

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