Oh summer, where did you go? Better question – where did 2017 go? We are days away from being 9 months into 2017 and I can’t wrap my head around how fast time is flying. The craziness of August is dying down – my mom and sister visited for the solar eclipse. Our executive chef and I put together a 300 person event at our venue, Hachland Hill, and it was a great success. Now I’m getting ready for a September full of travel!
Fall is upon us…
This means pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel frosting are coming soon! As much as I hate to admit it, I am as basic as a girl can get when fall arrives. All I can think about is crisp autumn weather, Steelers football and pumpkin flavored everything. (If you haven’t tried Dairy Queen’s Pumpkin Pie Blizzard, go get one as soon as they are released.) Unfortunately, down in the South, we still have a few more weeks of summer and my palette is still craving light foods for hot summer days.
A group of co-workers invited me to their weekly Game of Thrones watch party a few weeks ago, so I had to bring a dish! Instead of my usual choice of dessert, I opted for an appetizer that was quick to make and easy for travel.
I have a confession to make. During 2017, I fell in love… with goat cheese.
I first tried goat cheese in Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan entrée and I was instantly hooked. I’ve found vanilla-blueberry, garlic-herb, honey and, my personal favorite, sun-dried tomato and basil. Goat cheese is great on everything – atop a piece of chicken, crumbled on a salad or served with crackers.
As I scrolled through Pinterest searching for an easy-to-travel dish, this recipe caught my eye. Typically, the first time I find a recipe I follow it through down to every detail; however, I was on a time crunch. I improvised, as any cook would do. The end result must have been amazing, because they were gone so quickly I didn’t get to try one!
Aren’t they gorgeous?
I recently invested in a Canon DSLR camera and while I’m still learning to use it, I’ve managed to snag a few good shots.
From start to finish, I’m estimating this took me under 30 minutes to make. Nothing was prepped prior to the start, so this really can be a quick dish if you are limited on time. It’s easy to switch up the ingredients, too. You can use a garlic and herb goat cheese or roasted cherry tomatoes in place of sun-dried tomatoes. If you don’t like goat cheese, fresh mozzarella would be a tasty substitute.
- 1 French baguette
- 8 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 8.5 oz. jar of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small package fresh basil, chopped
- Your favorite balsamic glaze
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- On a cutting board using a serrated knife, slice the French baguette in 1-1 1/2 inch pieces. Using a pastry brush, coat each side of the pieces with EVOO and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set the pieces on a cooling rack, then put the cooling rack onto a baking sheet and toast for 3-5 minutes in the oven.
- Once toasted, spread a generous amount of goat cheese onto each crostini. Top with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Drizzle the crostini with balsamic glaze and enjoy!
- The crostini are best served immediately; however if they are for a later time be sure to refrigerate!
- Using a sharp, serrated knife will make slicing the bread much easier! My bread knife was a great investment.
- If you don't have EVOO, you can use softened butter.
- I chose to cook the crostini on a cooling rack so heat is distributed to both sides.
- Having the goat cheese at room temperature is the key to easy spreading.
- The cooling rack also helps during the topping process. I placed mine over my sink so any toppings or drizzle would be an easy clean up.