Serves 8 to 10 | Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 onion, chopped fine
¾ teaspoon table salt
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8- to 10-ounce) log goat cheese, softened
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Head Start
Refrigerate sauce in airtight container for up to 3 days, and goat cheese disk, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 day. To finish dish, increase broiling time to 12 to 15 minutes.
Perfect Pair
Serve alongside Watermelon Salad  or Cóctel de Camarón .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS There is one thing you can count on at holiday cocktail parties: small plates featuring melted cheese. Put out a dish of cheesy buffalo dip, a bowl of queso fundido, or a wheel of baked Brie, and your guests will cluster around it, spooning soft, warm morsels onto chips or bread, tucking spiderweb strands of cheese into their mouths, smiling and nodding in appreciation as they go. This warm goat cheese broiled in a baking dish with a mildly spicy tomato sauce combines tangy cheese with a smoky, sweet sauce. Goat cheese logs come in different sizes. Any size from 8 to 10 ounces will work in this recipe. If you can find only small logs of goat cheese (around 4 ounces), you can press two smaller logs together.
1 Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, pepper flakes, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
2 Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Place goat cheese between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten goat cheese into 1-inch-thick disk, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, cupping your hands around outside of disk as needed to make compact shape.
3 Transfer tomato sauce to shallow 2-quart broiler-safe dish. Place goat cheese in center. Broil until goat cheese is well browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro and lemon zest over sauce and drizzle with extra oil. Serve.