On Wednesday we assembled once more at 4 p.m. in the kitchen at Les Tuillières to make a four-course meal for the guests. In France, entrée means first course instead of main, and tonight it was a lovely eggplant gratin. Our plat principale was a lamb and artichoke stew and for dessert, we made a chocolate almond cake.
Our appetizer was a goat cheese and herb dip. It's delicious and fresh-tasting. I've since brought this little bit of Provence to a few parties where it has passed many a taste test.
Goat Cheese and Herb Dip
4 oz soft fresh goat cheese (pure white and not encrusted with anything)
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp plain thin yogurt
1 Tbsp each of finely chopped fresh herbs, whatever you have on hand: chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, mint or coriander
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) 1 Tbsp fresh edible flowers, hand torn: violets, primroses, sage blossoms, nasturtiums, pot marigolds, young rose petals, fragrant geraniums or poppies with the black part of the petals removed.
Blend the goat cheese, olive oil and yogurt. Add the fresh herbs and flowers, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until dip is cold and the flavours have had a chance to meld, about two hours.
Once the dip I made turned out too hard. If that happens, mix in a tablespoon of warm water or add more yogurt.