Goat cheese has a tangy, fresh taste that pairs well with many foods. It’s the perfect complement to a light spring salad and also works well on a gourmet pizza. You can even add goat cheese to your favorite recipes that use fromage, such as spreads, casseroles and layered dishes. Here are three delicious and wholesome ways to enjoy this mild, creamy cheese.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Olives

Green olives are typically stuffed with blue cheese like Roquefort, although goat cheese also works very well with the tangy flavor. Stuffed olives can be added to a gourmet vegetable tray or enjoyed as a light appetizer before the main course. To make these stuffed olives, start by selecting extra-large pitted green olives. To make the cheese stuffing, combine 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and half a cup of soft goat cheese. Mix in 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan along with eight chopped basil leaves, salt and pepper and one bulb of freshly roasted garlic. Pulse in a food processor until smooth and use a pastry bag to fill the hollows of the olives with the cheese mixture. This cheese mixture also makes an excellent vegetable dip if you have any left over.

Gourmet Pizza

Goat cheese pizza

by adeleturner on Flickr

Want to transform high-fat pizza into a gourmet meal? Try pizza with caramelized onions, fresh figs and delicious goat cheese with cranberries. You can also customize this to suit your tastes by adding spinach, proscuitto, rosemary and anything else you like. To make gourmet goat cheese pizza, start by sauteeing onions in oil until translucent and caramelized. Roll out premade pizza dough on a pan dusted with corn meal. Spread out a thin layer of olive oil and top with cooled onions, fresh cut figs cut side up and crumbled goat cheese with cranberries. Top with mozzarella and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings, such as fresh rosemary. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Goat Cheese on Fresh Salads

Salads are also the ideal way to highlight the unique and slightly gamey flavor of goat cheese. You can try crumbling it over a fresh salad to add a slightly salty flavor that’s very refreshing. It pairs nicely with crunchy green vegetables, juicy fruits like orange and pear, garden fresh vegetables, olives and bacon. You can even try grilling the goat cheese before you add it to your salad by slicing it one inch thick and rolling it in bread crumbs. Place the goat cheese in a frying pan over medium heat and cook just until the bread crumbs are crispy. Now the cheese can be cubed and sprinkled over your favorite garden fresh salad.

Want a nice goat cheese salad recipe to try? Combine 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar with 2 teaspoons of minced salad, kosher salt and black pepper in a bowl. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil as your stir and allow the ingredients to combine into a smooth dressing. Now, place 7 cups of freshly washed baby spinach leaves in a bowl and toss with most of your homemade dressing. Add another cup of spinach and toss again. Toss with half a cup of crumbled goat cheese and toasted walnuts and toss with the remaining dressing.