Coat the bottom of one or two rimmed baking sheets with olive oil and
set the bread slices on top in a single layer. Brush the tops with a
little more oil and set aside until you're ready to grill.
Light a charcoal fire and heat it until you can hold your hand
above the grate for no more than 2 seconds or heat a gas grill to medium
Heat the oven to 350°F. Stir the goat cheese, chopped thyme, and 2 Tbs. of olive oil together in a small bowl until blended. Spread the cheese mixture in a ceramic crock or small gratin dish—no need to get it perfectly even. Drizzle the cheese with a bit more olive oil and top with a few grinds of black pepper. Lay the thyme sprigs on top. Bake the cheese until it's warm and creamy, about 10 minutes.
While the cheese bakes, grill the bread until one side has dark grill marks and then turn
them to toast the other side. As soon as the slices are done, rub with garlic, if using.
Serve the cheese in the crock, surrounded with the grilled bread.
nutrition information (per serving):
per Tbs., Calories
6, Fat Calories
50, Saturated Fat
3, Monounsaturated Fat
0, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips