A Warm Goat Cheese Dip for a Romantic Dinner
This Warm Goat Cheese Dip is the perfect thing to share with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day.
What makes for a romantic dinner? For me it has to be long so that we can linger, hold hands and whisper. When we have a romantic dinner at home instead of in a restaurant, it’s made of little things to nibble on throughout the evening. This gives us the chance to, every now and then, stop eating and…
…go do something else.
If you sit down to a big fancy meal like a Beef Wellington, potatoes that are hot and brown and crunchy and a beautiful asparagus in lemon sauce, you’re not going to stop mid-way through to go and
…do anything else.
And honestly, if I just spent the day slaving over a big luscious meal, my husband better not suggest leaving the table for any reason. Instead we need to sit there eating until everything’s finished and until we’re both stuffed.
If you’re a reader or listener of Dan Savage then you know this is a common problem.
People spend time and energy making a big beautiful meal for their romantic night, eat it (possibly along with too much red wine) and are then surprised when they’d rather go watch TV instead of heading to the bedroom for
My advice is to make a meal of nibbles. Small things that you won’t worry about leaving behind and coming back to later on. The fondue menu I’m bringing you this week is perfect for that. It’s all fresh and bright dippers with smooth and rich dips that are served warm but that will be fine if left on the table in a bowl
…for however long you’re gone.
(Please don’t leave them in a heating fondue pot though. If you’re using such a pot, turn the heat off before you go. You want the night to be hot but not literally on fire, right?)
The first course is a Warm Goat Cheese Dip with Lemon and Basil.
It’s an especially romantic course if you tear up the basil leaves and let the pieces fall into the dip after you’ve sat down together.
Also take to the table some cherry tomatoes, a cutting board, a knife and a whole zucchini or two (nice little ones, not honking big crazy ones).
I love raw zucchini as a vegetable dipper. It’s so crunchy and fresh. And they’re brought whole to the table because I find it intimate to do some of the work at the table together. You sit down, you each dip in a cherry tomato and then one of you cuts a few wedges of zucchini. You share them. And then the other person cuts a few more. Using your hands, having something to do, something to talk about, something to pass to each other:
THAT is what infuses the meal with special warmth and love.
Other interactive dippers for this warm goat cheese dip are bread sticks, which are a tactile delight to have in hand. You pick one up, break it in half, dip one half, twirl the other in your fingers as you snack, transfer the remaining half from hand to hand, using it to gesture or punctuate a smile for a moment as you whisper sweet nothings and then dip it in as well.
Soft pretzels, either bought or made like this, can lead to interactivity as well. The first time we had them as a dipper The Hubs picked one up and said, “Let’s share.” He then held it out to me. I grabbed a loop of the intertwined bread and pulled.
We didn’t wait long that night to turn off the fondue pot and
…go somewhere else.
It was a successful romantic dinner, indeed!
- 1 cup sour cream (you can use light but don't let it get too hot or it might curdle. Full fat is the least likely to curdle if warmed)
- 4 ounces of plain soft goat cheese, at room temperature
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest (about what you get from one small lemon)
- 8-10 medium-sized basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn with your fingers.
- Measure the sour cream into a small saucepan. Squidge the goat cheese into the saucepan. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Mash it all together using a fork.
- Put the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly while everything gets melty together. Once it's nice and warm, about 5-7 minutes, stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the warm dip to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the basil leaves.