A good dip is always appreciated on game night, casual gatherings or before a delightful meal. This Spicy Tomato Baked Goat Cheese Dip is super easy to throw together and loaded with sweet and slightly spicy flavors using cherry tomatoes, Calabrian chilies and fresno or red fresh chilies.
Dips are a thing that make people smile when you put them on the table for serving. Whether you are serving cocktails or mocktails, or just enjoying a good sparkling water — a tasty appetizer to nosh on seems to stand up and get noticed. A delicious goat cheese is necessary to begin this dip and there are some wonderful purveyors these days that are local, and create a great product. Goat cheese has an earthiness about it that stands up to roasted tomatoes and chilies, and can handle the heat when baked in a hot oven. The cheese melts just enough to be able to plunge a cracker into, while still holiding its shape and tangy taste.
Whole cherry tomatoes roast into sweet gems and make a simple sauce around the goat cheese and the Calabrian chili paste adds spiciness without overpowering the dish. I sliced a fresh red jalapeno chili overtop and scattered a few with the tomatoes before baking, to give it that little bit of extra heat that I know I adore. Serve this dip with pretzel chips or crackers or smear it over a toasted baguette.
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, whole
8 ounces goat cheese
1 red chili pepper, Fresno, red jalapeno or other
salt and pepper
zest of 1/2 lemon
crackers for serving
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a casserole dish — drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Remove stems from cherry tomatoes and add to dish. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Add chili paste and toss with hands. Place goat cheese in center of tomatoes.
- Slice chili pepper and place on top and add remaining to tomatoes.
- Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, until softened and chilies slightly blister on top, remove from oven. Zest 1/2 lemon over top.
- Serve warm with pretzel chips or crackers. Enjoy!