One of the great treats of the summer is homemade cheese. Making chèvre (fresh goat cheese) at home is simple and fun, and can be done with the use of a variety of cultures, as well as without cultures, for lemon juice and vinegar can both be used as the curdling agent.
Click here for a recipe about how to make chèvre using a mesophilic culture, which provides additional flavor. Or, for an even simpler way to make chèvre, you can purchase this chèvre culture that includes all the necessary ingredients – even powdered rennet!
Once you’ve made a batch of chèvre, you’ll likely want to eat it on just about everything. However, for me, one of the most surprising results of cheesemaking is how much whey I’m left with each time. Most chèvre recipes call for a gallon of milk, which will turn into a nice big mound of goat cheese and over a half gallon of whey.
In order to utilize this nutritious byproduct, I came up with this tasty recipe.
Whey Delicious Summer Oatmeal With Chèvre and Strawberries
1 cup oats
2 cups whey
3 tablespoons homemade chèvre
12 fresh strawberries, sliced
Drizzle of maple syrup
1. The night before you’d like to have this delicious breakfast, soak your cup of oats in the two cups of whey. This can be done in the pot you’ll use to cook the oats in.
2. The next morning, put the pot on the stove and cook the oats until they reach your desired consistency (about 5 minutes). Drain off any excess whey.
3. Mix in the chèvre, and adorn your bowl with the sliced strawberries and as much maple syrup as you like. Voila! A sweet homesteader’s breakfast.
What I love about homemade chèvre is how it can be used as both a savory and a sweet ingredient. When I’m not eating it for breakfast, I like to use it in one of my favorite salads, made with spinach, walnuts and dried cranberries.
Since the flavor of chèvre is often relatively mild, I’ve adapted the French tradition of marinating the chèvre in a jar with herbs. Since I run a small herb farm, I’m always looking for delicious ways to incorporate herbs into my meals, and this recipe is one of my favorite ways to do just that.
Herbed Chèvre in Oil
1 small bunch rosemary
1 small bunch oregano
1 small bunch thyme
1 small bunch chives
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
Fresh cracked pepper
1. Fill a jar or glass container halfway with chèvre and cover with herbs. Pour over enough olive oil to completely submerge the cheese and herbs. Place in the refrigerator.
2. Let the cheese marinate for at least three days. Serve with crusty bread for a delicious summer appetizer.
Since this recipe can be made in a jar, it’s a perfect snack to bring to a picnic! Plus, when you’re finished with the cheese, you can use the herb-infused oil in salad dressing or to sauté fresh greens from your garden.
No matter how you use it, homemade chèvre is a delightful and nutritious way to add value and flavor to fresh milk. When it comes to enjoying it, the possibilities are endless!