Recipe : Goat cheese crostini with port soaked fruit

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-09-26 - Food

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Sort of dessert, so of appetizer.

This crostini appetizer is more sweet than savory, but it has a nice depth of flavor. The tanginess of the goat cheese and lemon is balanced by the sweet honey and fruit. Some nice spiciness comes in from the port and black pepper. And it's super easy for what it is. I first had a version of this at San Diego's beloved Juniper And Ivy.

In terms of actual cooking, you'll only be making two things for this. 1) The goat cheese spread, and 2) the marinated fruit. Then it just goes on bread with a wee bit of garnish. It's not too far from just being jam and cheese on toast, but kicked up rather a lot. And the goat cheese mix is great on all sorts of things.

For the goat cheese I would lobby for finding something fresh and local. You want tangy and vibrant, hopefully only a week or two old. And since it will end up being a whipped spread, firmer aged goat cheese won't work. If you can't find a good local version, and fresh packaged goat cheese will do fine.

Toasting the bread has a couple options. If you are just making a few of these I'd just put the plain slices in a toaster. But if you're making a big batch for a party you should brush on some olive oil and toast them all at once in the oven. Also, use small slices of bread. It's an appetizer, not a sandwich. I use Sourdough, but really just about anything will work.

What fruit to use depends on what you see that looks good at your market. I like cherries, plums, or other stone fruit. Blackberries or cherries are good too. I'm using strawberries here of course. The fruit should be honestly ripe. If you use something big like peaches, make slices to marinate. If you use something like cherries, just cut them in half (remove pit of course).

I'm not giving amounts here since how much you'll need will depend on how many you are making and what size your bread is. For the stuff you mix into the cheese, start light and add more to taste.

Instructions :

  • Mix your goat cheese with some of the honey, thyme, cream and black pepper. Start with small amounts and add more until it tastes as you like. The cream is to smooth it out so it's not crumbly. Try not to be overpowering with the pepper and thyme, so add those in small amounts. It should mostly taste like tangy goat cheese with honey sweetness and some mild spice. Remember you'll be drizzling on more honey at the end. it should be smooth enough to just not be crumbly

  • Slice or prepare the fruit. Put in a bowl with a pinch of salt and just enough port to get to all the fruit. You don't need it swimming in port, just touching port. Marinate for around 10 minutes. Taste a piece to see if it's ready. You want to still be able to taste the fruit, so don't let it go too long. Drain off the port once the fruit tastes right. I just drink the port, YMMV.

  • Toast your bread. See above.

  • Spread the cheese mixture on the bread, fairly thick. add some of the marinated fruit. Drizzle with honey, and sprinkle on a bit of the lemon zest, black pepper, and minced thyme.

    Ingredients :

  • Fresh goat cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Toasted bread slices
  • Clover honey
  • Heavy cream
  • Sliced or halved fruit
  • Port (not the good stuff)
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh thyme, minced
  • Ground black pepper

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