This creamy, cheesy dip has hints of fresh basil, rosemary, and thyme and makes a perfect appetizer or potluck dish to pass.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy appetizer or dish to pass that will satisfy any palate, this dip is for you. The mellow flavor of garlic and herbs perfectly complements the tangy freshness of the goat cheese, and the presentation is gorgeous but effortless. You can even save time by making the dip and topping ahead of time and storing them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
To start, add chunks of goat cheese and cream cheese to a food processor. Drizzle 2 tbsp. of olive oil over the top of the cheeses and blend in the food processor until smooth. Then, add your garlic and spices. I prefer to use fresh rosemary and thyme, but dried also works perfectly well if you don’t have any fresh herbs on hand. Pulse the dip until the herbs are fully mixed in, and then transfer the dip to a small bowl. Fold in the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and spread the dip evenly into a small oven-safe baking dish that’s been prepped with nonstick spray. When you’re ready to bake the dip, pop it into a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. It’s ready when the edges of the dip are bubbly and golden.
While the dip is baking, prepare your topping by stirring together 6-8 quartered grape tomatoes, the remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, and the chiffonade of fresh basil. Here’s a great post from Ree Drummond on how to create a basil chiffonade. Mix all items together thoroughly and store covered in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
Once the dip has cooled about 5 minutes, you’re ready to add the topping. I love to sneak a smell of the topping after it’s marinated in the fridge for awhile – the smell of fresh basil, olive oil and vinegar is unbeatable. Spoon the topping evenly over the top of the warm dip, then serve immediately with freshly-baked baguette and buttery crackers.
And that’s it! 20 minutes of prep plus 20 minutes of baking equals a visually-striking, memorable addition to the appetizer table. Your guests will surely be asking you for this recipe.
- 8 oz. log of goat cheese,softened
- 4 oz. (half block) of cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. dried (or ¼ tsp. fresh) rosemary
- ½ tsp. dried (or ¼ tsp. fresh) thyme
- ¼ c. parmesan cheese
- ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6-8 small grape tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tbsp. chiffonade of fresh basil
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- toasted baguette and crackers for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut softened goat cheese and cream cheese into slices and add to food processor.
- Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil to food processor and mix until smooth.
- Add garlic, pepper, rosemary and thyme and pulse until fully incorporated.
- Transfer dip from food processor into a small mixing bowl.
- Fold parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese into dip.
- Spray a small baking dish (I used a 15 oz. Corningware dish) with nonstick spray.
- Add dip to baking dish.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly around the edges.
- While dip is baking, prepare topping.
- Stir together quartered grape tomatoes, remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar. Topping can also be prepared ahead-of-time and stored in the refrigerator.
- After dip has cooled for 5 minutes, spoon topping evenly on top in the center of the dip.
- Serve immediately with warm toasted baguette or crackers.