Goat Cheese and Eggplant Crostini

Posted on May 18, 2013

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I am going to be alternating during the next few posts between desserts and appetizers/veggies dishes–from simple yet elegant (classic recipes I’m finally putting on the blog)–to fun, inventive, and adventurous. There’s alot going on here for us this spring–a time of wonderful changes, preparations, limited time for kitchen adventures but always inspiration in the farmers markets and seasonal offerings we encounter…

However, I do find that I’m lucky if I can actually take time to capture all the nuances of the cooking experience–too often the photos are hastily shot, the food is devoured, and life flies on, only for me to stop and recall it one evening days later…so bear with the occasionally scripted (not my usual style) recipes…It’s good for my humility, acknowledging that it has to be this way (without the chef’s explanatory bells and whistles) or it won’t happen at all…
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This was a pretty much no-brainer recipe for a large crowd–thanks food and wine, once again.

We had sparkling wine as well as rich reds around—it worked with both…so, in other words, a keeper of a recipe–and I definitely had extra eggplant mixture, which can easily be used with meats, fishes, etc…

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick and toasted

1 1/2 cups soft goat cheese ( 3/4 pound)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, vinegar, garlic and cumin and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, thyme and cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Spread each slice of toasted baguette with a bit of the goat cheese, and then dollop a small spoon of the eggplant spread on top. Arrange the crostini on a platter and serve to a group of your very favorite people.

MAKE AHEAD The eggplant spread can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

This is the complete feast

This is the complete feast–so much to be grateful for!

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