Fresh Goat Cheese Spread/Dip with Chives

I’ve always loved fresh goat cheese, but it has really become my daily fare since I met a lovely young woman selling her organic goat cheese at my French farmers market. The taste has nothing to do with any shop-bought version (organic or not), the cheese freshest possible (produced the same morning) and the price is so low, I let her fill up a big tupperware and enjoy it almost every single day during the goat milking season, i.e. all year round apart from most of the winter (they became all pregnant – I know there must be a proper word for that in English too… – hence the halt in cheese production until baby goats are born).

Even though I had frozen big amounts of this cheese (the texture changes a bit but they still beat whatever one can find in shops), I ran out of them quite a long time ago and was very impatient to start buying it again. Coming back home the very first thing I did was devouring a whole one with a spoon, but just after that I made this delicious spread that makes me feel springtime is already here and reminds me of my childhood.

Actually, it’s an almost identical copy of the simple fresh cow cheese and chives spread I used to eat often as a child and which is very popular in Poland. In countries where goat cheese is expensive, this goat version would be a luxury, but luckily I live close to France where fresh goat cheese is extremely popular and obviously not expensive. The only personal twist I’ve added to my mum’s recipe is garlic, but chives remain the crucial element that makes this spread irresistible.

I usually have this spread on my favourite breakfast bread (this Finnish super thin “diet” one), not only in the morning but also as an afternoon snack. You can also serve it at a party, as a dip with nachos or raw vegetables and it’s delicious on dark/wholemeal bread canapés (if you like pumpernickel, you will love the combination).

If you don’t find fresh goat cheese (or if it’s expensive where you live or if you simply don’t like it), you can use fresh cow or ewe cheese (often called cottage cheese, but make sure it’s all natural).

Here are some other spreads you might like:

Baba Ghanouj/M'tabal (Aubergine Dip)
Baba Ghanouj/M’tabal (Aubergine Dip)
Yogurt/Quark Spread with Caramelised Onion
Yogurt/Quark Spread with Caramelised Onion
Tzatziki with Fennel
Tzatziki with Fennel
Bulgarian Dill Salad/Dip (Dry Tarator)
Bulgarian Dill Salad/Dip (Dry Tarator)
Taramosalata (Fish Roe Dip)
Taramosalata (Fish Roe Dip)

TIPS: While you can perfectly replace goat cheese with cow cheese (the taste is different, of course), I do not advise replacing chives with thick spring onions. They are too aggressive, too “oniony” and at the same time are not as aromatic as chives (I did try once and regretted my experiment). If you have access to the Japanese ao negi (slightly thicker than chives and less pungent), it will be a perfect replacement and you can use more of if, since it’s more delicate.

If you have a source of good quality fresh goat cheese, but it’s far away, buy it in big amounts and freeze it in well wrapped portions. Strangely the texture changes only a bit and the taste is practically the same. It becomes maybe less moist, but I still find it delicious mixed with yogurt and used as a spread. (My experiments in freezing cheese are sometimes surprising: I have always thought hard cheese freezes well, but I recently saw gruyère’s texture become horribly crumbly and dry, while the famous French blue cheese roquefort stayed in perfect shape… though I must say I always vacuum pack my cheese before freezing it, apart from the fresh one which is too soft).

Obviously, if you don’t like garlic, skip it. As I said, fresh cheese and chives are the key to the delightful flavours.

Yogurt is used here only to loosen the texture, so its amount depends on the texture of the cheese.

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients (makes approximately a 250 ml jar of spread):

300 g of fresh goat cheese

125 ml natural yogurt (cow or goat milk yogurt will be ok), or more/less; see the TIPS above

6 heaped tablespoons chopped chives (or more)

1 big clove garlic

salt (to taste)

Combine the ingredients and refrigerate or eat it straight away.

This spread will keep for several days in the fridge.

19 Replies to “Fresh Goat Cheese Spread/Dip with Chives”

  1. That looks so yummy Sissi! And so versatile too. Thanks so much again for the great recipe.

  2. I’m a relatively recent fan of goat cheese though I still remember drinking fresh goat’s milk when I was in grade school on a field trip to a local farm. I wish I remembered what it tasted like. 🙂

    Goat’s cheese is available locally though it’s not cheap nor nearly as fresh what you get. I’d like to try some of your spread with the latest batch of SD French baguettes I made today. Not ‘traditional’ in terms of crumb but great flavour and a crunchy chewy crust.

    1. It depends on the country. I think in UK fresh goat cheese is not very popular either, but in France it’s very popular (usually at least two brands in every supermarket). Fresh cheese is so easy to make… and quick it should be cheap and available in every region where any goat cheese is produced.
      Your baguettes do look delicious! I think baguette baking is a huge challenge (much bigger than any bread, roll, etc. I know!). Even in France it’s difficult to find a good baguette…

  3. I love the simplicity of this spread, and it sounds marvellous spread on your breakfast crisp bread. I find hard cheese freezes best if grated, I usually grate it all into a ziplock bag and freeze, breaking up the bits so they are easy to portion. Blue cheese freezes well but I usually only use it for dips or dressings because it becomes a bit spongy! Goat cheese is excellent for freezing, the textural change is marginal and acceptable, as you said. Brie or creamy cheese (St.Andre) freeze well too.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. I use the vast majority of my cheese raw, eaten as it is with bread, (apart from parmezan and pecorino), so I’m very attentive to the texture and taste it has once defrosted. (I buy most of my cheese at a French market and go there usually only than twice a month and I often tend to buy too much…). I always vacuum pack the cheese before, apart from fresh cheese which is too watery for my home vacuum machine (I’ve just updated the post, I suppose it’s worth mentioning), maybe that’s why I don’t notice much changes in blue cheese… Thank you for the brie information. I’ll test it one day too (but usually my husband eats it too quickly to worry about its shelf life…). I recently had to freeze a big chunk of cheddar (real, aged raw milk cheddar, not the thing they use in hamburgers) and it strangely didn’t change at all (or almost!) while gruyère which is quite close becomes so crumbly…. The magic of cheese!

      1. Perhaps it is the fat content of the cheddar here because I find it spongy or crumbly after defrosting, which is why I grate it before freezing (and it makes it easier to add to recipes). I hope the brie works out for you, I usually only freeze it when I can find it on sale and then buy more than we are able to eat.

  4. This looks so fresh and delicious Sissi; I would find it a welcome change too from our usual spreads. I haven’t had much luck freezing cheese (it ends up all crumbly) but perhaps I need to research it more (have not tried freezing goat cheese).

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. Not every cheese is good defrosted… I take less risk because I vacuum pack before freezing, but there are still some bad surprises…

  5. I have always enjoyed eating spreads like yours. We have a couple of farmers that make decent goatcheese and sell it at the local markets. Nothing like in France but better than nothing.

    1. Thank you, Katerina. Greek pitas would be perfect with this! (I already imagine some Greek olives too…).

  6. I always get envious when I hear people talking about farmer’s markets, we have nothing like that here, so visiting a market when we are in a larger town is always a must for me. I love dips and this one sounds delicious!

    1. Thank you, Adina. We are lucky to have several markets in my city and also in French cities/villages just across the border, so I’m really glad!

    1. Thank you, Karen. Goats are apparently super easy to keep (and cheap) while fresh goat cheese is very simple to prepare, so I wonder why goat cheese is not more popular around the world!

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh goat cheese. Need to keep an eye out for it since we both here are cheese lovers to the extreme. Love your dip. So simple and having chives as the complementary flavor is intriguing. My chives have taken off with the warmer weather, so I need to start picking them. Now to find some fresh cheese. Oh and omitting the garlic – no way! 🙂

    1. Dear MJ, if you like any goat cheese you will probably love this one! (Wel, you should also like fresh cheese in general… which is a bit tangy… my husband is a huge cheese fan, but he hates fresh cheese, no matter which animal ; it’s too close to yogurt for him). As I told Karen, I’m always surprised fresh goat cheese is not more popular around the world : goats are apparently super cheap to keep and fresh cheese is so quick and easy to make…

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