March 29, 2012

... Garlic Toasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, & Goat Cheese

I don't know about you, but I am loving this early Spring / Summer we're having.  I know it'll most likely be like an inferno this summer, but right now I'm soaking up the gorgeous, sunny 80 degree temps we have in Kansas City.  And getting to use fresh produce like this certainly doesn't hurt...

I made this for wine club last night and it was a huge hit.  Really easy to prepare and the perfect size to bite on with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc while sitting outside with some of your most fun girlfriends... heaven.

Garlic Toasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, & Goat Cheese
serves 6-8

2 cups cherry tomatoes, preferably a mix of red and yellow, stemmed and halved
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 baguette, cut into 16 slices about 1/4-inch thick
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup olive oil
3 ounces mild goat cheese, at room temperature

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil and toss to mix well.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Rub the garlic halves over one side of the bread and brush lightly with the olive oil.  Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes.

Spread each toast with the goat cheese, top with a spoonful of the tomato mixture, and serve at once.

Taylor's Notes:
This was really easy to make and is the perfect appetizer or snack for Spring and Summer.  I followed the recipe except that I minced and mashed the garlic cloves with a little kosher salt and added it to the goat cheese rather than rubbing the cloves on the toasts.  Either way would be delicious, but I was with a group of garlic-lovers so we opted for the choice that would give us more flavor.  Good thing we didn't have dates that night!