i know the holiday party season is coming to a close, but i can't resist posting about an appetizer/party food idea. in my oh-so-humble opinion, crostini with goat cheese is one of the best creations of all time. for one, as our friend scott once astutely observed, "goat cheese, like william shatner, makes everything better." but the true genius of goat cheese crostini is its versatility-- it can be an appetizer, part of a lunch or dinner antipasti spread, it can punctuate grilled veggie salad, and it can easily be topped with just about anything you can find in your fridge, pantry, or garden.
for my recent crostini appetizer plate, i started with a gorgeous, seedy baguette from tall grass bakery at the ballard farmers market. sliced and toasted the bread, smeared goat cheese on top, and searched in the fridge for other toppings. i had one leftover roasted golden beet and a bag of salad greens, both from full circle farm. i sliced the beet, picked the arugula out of the bag of greens, drizzled with some thick balsamic vinegar, and had a plate of appetizers ready to go.
for crostini toasts:
brush both sides of slices with olive oil, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
toast in oven at 350 for about 5 minutes, or grill until toasted.
slather on plenty of softened goat cheese.
for toppings, anything goes! depending on what's in season, here are some ideas:
slices of roasted beet, apples, pears, peaches, melons, figs, roasted peppers, or artichoke hearts
dried fruits like cranberries, dates, or apricots
berries, cranberries, olives, cherry tomatoes, ground cherries, capers, or nuts
prosciutto, pancetta, or smoked fish
chutney, marmalade, jam, tapenade, relish, or pesto
fresh herbs or greens, such as dill, basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, chives, arugula, fennel, or watercress
edible flowers, like nasturtium, pansy, or allium (oh man, this would be BEAUTIFUL!)
good quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, or finishing salt
i think the next one i'd like to try is fig and prosciutto with honey. when summer rolls back around, a halved cherry tomato with a dollop of pesto sounds spectacular. let me know your brilliant combination ideas!