Tomatoes & Goat Cheese & Balsamic-Coffee Reduction

Sep 11, 2007 by bartolimu | 0 Comments| Share it:   

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Heirloom Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic/Coffee Reduction

A delightfully fresh summer appetizer, this dish was inspired by the goods available at my local market. When presented with such wonderful subjects, I find it difficult to resist making something with them - even if I don’t eat raw tomatoes myself.

The balsamic-coffee reduction is only very slightly bitter, despite being so concentrated. The lemon zest comes through most strongly, along with a pleasant tartness from the balsamic vinegar. Coffee lends a mysterious earthiness and complexity to the finished sauce.


  • Prep: ~30 mins.
  • Cook: ~30 mins.
  • Serves: 3

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For the reduction:

- 1 cup freshly-brewed coffee
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- zest of one lemon

(Additional ingredients listed below in recipe).

Step 1

1 teaspoon honey


Step 2

For the Tomatoes: - A selection of heirloom tomatoes, preferably of varying colors and types - 1 small log of goat cheese - 1 Tablespoon freshly-ground coffee - 1 Tablespoon freshly-ground pepper - A selection of heirloom cherry/pear/plum tomatoes, preferably of varying colors - Optional: fresh dill and cilantro


Step 3

Start by setting up the reduction. Pour the coffee, vinegar, salt, and honey into a small saucepan. Zest the lemon directly into the saucepan using a microplane or other favored method. Stir to combine and dissolve the honey, then simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally.


Step 4

While that's cooking down, start on the tomatoes.


Step 5

You want nice, flat two-bite-sized pieces. Make them slightly larger in diameter than your log of goat cheese, and at least a half inch thick. Preferably thicker. Remove seeds where necessary, though these particular heirlooms weren't terribly seedy.


Step 6

Combine the pepper and ground coffee on a small plate. Unwrap the goat cheese and roll it partially in the pepper/coffee mix, giving it a striped appearance.


Step 7



Step 8

Prepare some of the smaller cherry, plum, and/or pear tomatoes by washing and cutting them.


Step 9

By now, the reduction should be very thick, clinging to the bottom of the saucepan and foaming as it simmers.


Step 10

Time to build! Start with your chunks of heirloom tomatoes:


Step 11

Slice a thin piece of goat cheese for each piece of tomato.


Step 12

Top with one half of a cherry/plum/pear tomato, then drizzle the reduction liberally over all. Optionally, top each piece of tomato with a sprig of fresh herb. I chose not to due to the preference of my diners.

Now that you have learned how to make tomatoes & goat cheese & balsamic-coffee reduction, please be sure to view these other cheese recipes. Also, you will love these American recipes.


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