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Chevre is the French name for goat cheese, and it has a distinct taste and texture that is all its own. Working with chevre is different from working with most cow’s milk cheeses. The cheese can be crumbled over salads after having been refrigerated, or it can be heated until soft on top of bruschetta. It will not melt like other cheeses, and it often has a slightly salty taste from the cheesemaking process.
One of the most popular uses for chevre is in a salad. To use the goat cheese on a salad, it should first be chilled or kept in a refrigerator for a time. When the cheese is cold, it will readily crumble under pressure and can be sprinkled over top of the salad or another dish.
Chevre at room temperature can become very creamy, making it suitable as a bruschetta topping. Bruschetta can be made by toasting baguette slices and spreading the goat cheese on top while the bread is still warm. Tomatoes and freshly cut basil are placed on top of that and the slightly melted cheese acts like glue.
Heating chevre is popular, as well, although it will not melt smoothly like some other cheeses. The rich taste of chevre lends itself well to baked dishes such as a goat cheese tart. This tart can be made by mixing the goat cheese with ricotta cheese, an egg and some spices. The mixture is stuffed into a puff pastry shell and baked. For variety, mushrooms, tomatoes or asparagus can be added, as well.
The creamy texture of chevre can be used to help make a rich and flavorful dip. Combine room-temperature goat cheese with cream cheese and add spices or other ingredients. Some mix-in ideas are chives, sun-dried tomatoes, olives or cucumbers. It can be served on slices of baguette or crackers.
Chevre also adds an unexpected sharp note to dessert dishes. Goat cheese can be added to cheesecakes for a unique flavor. A sweet dip for fruit is made by combining goat cheese with honey. For a tangy dessert, it can be formed into an ice cream.
One way to experience goat cheese is to let the taste of the cheese be the primary focus. Goat cheese can be baked with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top. When it comes out of the oven, it can be served on bread or croutons with a roasted pecan on top.
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