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Cooking | Magazine

Recipes: Goat cheese gives a tangy boost to omelets, pasta, and salad

Try the powerhouse ingredient in these three simple dishes.

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Omelet
Zucchini and Goat Cheese OmeletConnie Miller of CB Creatives
Logo for magazine's cooking column w/ Christopher Kimball and cooks of Milk Street.

All goat cheeses are not created equal. The most common, fresh French chèvre, truly is a powerhouse ingredient. Tangy, creamy, rich, and fresh all at once, this cheese softens easily when heated without the clumping messiness of many cow cheeses. That’s why it works so well blended into an omelet filling of zucchini, shallots, and chives, ensuring each bite is rich and flavorful. We also mash it with peas, lime juice, and mint to make an easy, spring-fresh sauce for a one-pot spaghetti dinner. And it brings balance to a bitter greens salad with walnuts and orange that’s filled with contrasting flavors and textures.

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Zucchini and Goat Cheese Omelet

Makes 4 servings

In this simple omelet, lightly caramelized shallots and tender sautéed zucchini pair nicely with creamy, tangy fresh goat cheese. Rather than sprinkle crumbled goat cheese into the omelet, we mix it into the still-hot shallot-zucchini sauté so the cheese binds the filling.

Be sure to remove the seedy core from the zucchini, as the core turns soft and mushy when cooked. After cutting the zucchini lengthwise into quarters, use your knife to trim away the seedy section from each.

8 large eggs

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 tablespoons salted butter, divided

2 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced

1 medium zucchini (8 to 12 ounces), quartered lengthwise, seedy core removed, and cut into ½-inch pieces

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 teaspoon salt. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the shallots and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, until quite tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and wipe out the pan. Add ½ teaspoon pepper and the goat cheese to the zucchini and stir until the cheese softens and the mixture is well combined; set aside.

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In the same skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then swirl the pan to coat. Pour in the egg mixture and, using a silicone spatula, draw the edges toward the center and gently stir, working your way around the perimeter of the pan. Cook the eggs until they form soft, pillowy curds but are still runny enough to pool on the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the eggs in an even layer, then cover, remove from the heat, and let stand until the omelet is set, about 5 minutes.

Run the spatula around the edge and under the omelet to loosen it, then slide it onto a plate. Spread the zucchini mixture over half of the omelet, then sprinkle with half of the chives and parsley. Using the spatula, fold the omelet in half to enclose the filling. Cut into

4 wedges, then sprinkle with the remaining chives and parsley.

Spaghetti With Goat Cheese, Mint, and Peas
Spaghetti With Goat Cheese, Mint, and PeasConnie Miller/Connie Miller of CB Creatives

Spaghetti With Goat Cheese, Mint, and Peas

Makes 4 servings

This one-pot pasta dish is our simplified take on a recipe from Rich Table by Evan and Sarah Rich. The sauce requires no cooking and the only knife work is chopping the mint. But the full, fresh flavors belie the ultra-easy preparation.

The peas need to be thawed so that the ½ cup for mashing will break down easily. And be sure to save about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining the spaghetti. You’ll need the starchy liquid to thin the goat cheese mixture and create a silky sauce that coats the pasta.

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Kosher salt and ground black pepper

12 ounces spaghetti

1 cup frozen peas, thawed, divided

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)

1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus 1 tablespoon lime juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped mint, divided

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta, then cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use a fork to mash ½ cup of the peas to a coarse puree. Add the goat cheese, lime zest and juice, oil, half of the chopped mint, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Using the fork, continue to mash until well combined; set aside.

To the drained pasta in the pot, add the goat cheese mixture, the remaining peas, and ¾ cup of the reserved cooking water. Toss until evenly coated, adding more cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed so the sauce is creamy and clings to the pasta. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the remaining mint.

Bitter Greens and Orange Salad With Walnuts and Goat Cheese

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Makes 4 servings

This salad is full of bold flavors, a mixture of bitter, sweet, briny, and creamy. Navel oranges do well here, but colorful Cara Cara or blood oranges are great if they are in season. As for greens, use a combination of sturdy varieties so the leaves stand up to the other ingredients. Our favorite is a mixture of endive, radicchio, and frisée; you’ll need one head of each to get the 12 cups needed for this salad.

Make sure to chop the walnuts and olives finely enough so that they mix into the dressing.

3 medium oranges (see headnote)

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced

½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre), crumbled, divided

12 cups lightly packed mixed bitter greens (see headnote), in bite-size pieces

Cut ½ inch off the top and bottom of each orange. One at a time, stand each on a cut end and, slicing from top to bottom, cut away the peel and pith following the contour of the fruit. Cut the oranges vertically into quarters, then trim away the seedy core from each. Cut each quarter crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, oregano, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the shallot and oranges, along with their juice, and toss. Let stand for 10 minutes.

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To the oranges, add the olives, walnuts, oil, and all but 3 tablespoons of the goat cheese, then stir gently until combined and the cheese begins to break down and become creamy. Add the greens and toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the remaining goat cheese.


Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of complete digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Go to 177milkstreet.com/globe. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.