Adapted from Chef Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery. Knoll likes to pair this with a good Chardonnay. This easy and flavorful appetizer can be adapted year-round by changing the citrus with the seasons.
1/4 pound aged goat cheese (Cypress Grove Midnight Moon or a Manchego may be substituted)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one blood orange, pith removed (any seasonal citrus)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one Meyer lemon, pith removed
10 whole black peppercorns
5 whole white peppercorns
1 C candied kumquats, halved (2 Tbsp of English marmalade may be substituted)
1 blood orange, peeled and divided into segments (any seasonal citrus with minimal seeds may be substituted)
6 sprigs thyme
2-4 bay leaves, whole
¼ C olive oil
Coarse or flaky sea salt, to taste
Slice cheese into 1⁄8-inch thick triangles. Use a vegetable peeler to broadly peel citrus rinds (approximate length: 2-3 inches). In a nonreactive bowl, combine sliced cheese with orange and lemon rinds, black and white peppercorns, marmalade or kumquats, 8 blood orange segments, 4 thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add olive oil and gently toss.
Cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for eight hours or in a refrigerator a minimum of 24 hours (or up to three days).
To serve, bring the cheese marinade up to room and toss gently again in same bowl to refresh ingredients. Arrange the cheese slices and marinade naturally on a platter. Top with a few more citrus rinds that have not been marinated. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Garnish with a few fresh thyme sprigs and salt to taste. Serves 6 -8.