Today is National Signing Day, which I guess I should care about as a fan of professional football since professional football players come from somewhere , namely college football, and this is one of the bigger days on the college football calendar. There is a bunch of nonsense with hats being selected and scads of normally reasonable adults drooling over high school kids, but overall it’s a pretty boring day to anyone not selecting a school or writing about selecting a school.  The whole process would be much more interesting if all the various athletic directors and coaches were put in a circle and recruits played a giant game of duck-duck-goose to see if how badly Charlie Weis or Urban Meyer really wanted them during the goose-chase.

Much like sausages and laws, do I really want to see how professional players are made? As I’ve said many times before, I didn’t attend a big college football school nor did anyone in my immediate family, so I don’t have any really rooting interest on Saturdays other than sheer pandemonium for the BCS. These days though, people buy and read up on artisanal sausages to know exactly where the ingredients came from. PACs, politicians and pundits all have Twitter feeds, so agreements like SOPA are probably discussed with more frequency by ordinary citizens these days than when the FCC was formed in the 1930s by the Communications Act. So maybe I should pay a little more attention to the origin stories of who may become some of my favorite athletes in the next four to ten years.

Or I can just read posts about baby mascots.

Artichoke and Leek Goat Cheese Spread

Tender artichoke hearts are given a boost by bright lemon juice, herbs and meaty olives while tender leeks give a nice sweetness and tang without the overpowering taste of onion in this great cheese blend. Make a day or two ahead of time to save time and sanity on game day!

You will need:

1 pound (16 ounces) goat cheese, softened to room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 medium sized leeks, tender white and green base, cleaned
14-16 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup ripe green olives, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & pepper
chives

In place of the dried herbs, use a tablespoon of your favorite Italian seasoning and reduce the amount of salt and pepper.

Chop, rinse and drain the leeks. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and saute the leeks under tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

If you have a small mortar and pestle, crush the dried herbs together to release the oils. (Or if you’re like me and don’t have a small mortar and pestle, use your muddler and a small ramekin to do the same job.)

Roughly chop the olives and artichoke hearts.

In a small bowl, combine the cooked leeks, chopped artichokes, olives, herbs, salt, pepper and lemon juice. This will help everything evenly combine with your cheese blend.

In large bowl, cream together the goat and cream cheese. If the cheese is still a little firm, a pastry blender helps do the trick. (This is true with almost anything in the kitchen. If I could drive my car with a pastry blender, I would.)

Fold in the sauteed leeks, artichokes, olives, herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper into the soft cheese blend until well combined.

Gently spread the cheese mixture in a small springform pan or line a large shallow bowl with plastic wrap and fill.

Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to a few days ahead of serving time.

When ready to serve, remove from the springform pan by popping off the side and lifting the bottom up, or if using a bowl; remove the top piece of plastic wrap, place the serving plate over the bowl and flip upside-down, then removing the base layer of plastic wrap.

Garnish with chives and serve with crackers and crudites.

Artichoke and Leek Goat Cheese Spread: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes
Print
Recipe type: appetizer
Author: sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 20 mins
Serves: 10-12
Leeks give a mild onion taste to this bright artichoke and goat cheese spread
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 medium sized leeks, tender white and green base, cleaned
  • 14-16 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup ripe green olives, drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & pepper
  • chives
  • In place of the dried herbs, use a tablespoon of your favorite Italian seasoning and reduce the amount of salt and pepper.
Instructions
  1. Chop, rinse and drain the leeks. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and saute the leeks under tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. If you have a small mortar and pestle, crush the dried herbs together to release the oils. (Or if you’re like me and don’t have a small mortar and pestle, use your muddler and a small ramekin to do the same job.)
  3. Roughly chop the olives and artichoke hearts.
  4. In large bowl, cream together the goat and cream cheese. If the cheese is still a little firm, a pastry blender helps do the trick. (This is true with almost anything in the kitchen. If I could drive my car with a pastry blender, I would.)
  5. Fold in the sauteed leeks, artichokes, olives, herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper into the soft cheese blend until well combined.
  6. Gently spread the cheese mixture in a small springform pan or line a large shallow bowl with plastic wrap and fill.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to a few days ahead of serving time.
  8. Garnish with chives and serve with crackers and crudites

 

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One Response to Artichoke and Leek Goat Cheese Spread: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes

  1. Did you say a pound of goat cheese? That’s what my version of heaven looks like…pounds of goat cheese.

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