- 4 2-ounce crottins of Chavignol, or other French goat cheese
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- Edible flowers, such as pansies or nasturtiums, garnish
- Minced fresh soft herbs, such as parsley, dill or tarragon, garnish
- HOMEMADE CROUTONS:
- One 12 to 15-inch loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch slices
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Put the cheese in a sealable 2-cup jar. Add the thyme, garlic, pepper, lavender, and salt, and top with oil to cover completely. Cover tightly with a lid. Let stand for 48 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
- When ready to serve, bring the cheese to room temperature. Transfer to a platter or plates and garnish, if desired, with edible flowers or herbs. Serve with homemade croutons or crackers, or crumbled into salads.
- HOMEMADE CROUTONS: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush one side of each slice with the olive oil, then lightly season with the salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool before handling or serving.
- Makes about 12 to 20 croutons