These Balsamic Cherry and Goat Cheese Crostini are a really easy summer appetizer, and a surprising one, too, when people are expecting the classic tomato-basil-balsamic combo. (They’re also beautiful, which doesn't count for nothing.) Creamy goat cheese is the perfect base for the juicy cherries, and basil adds a nice fresh herbal note. This is the time to use a high-quality balsamic vinegar- the sweeter and more syrupy, the better.
The recipe itself couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is heat the cherries with a little bit of honey, the balsamic vinegar and basil, toast some bread, and assemble the crostini. Total time, 20 minutes. While a cherry pitter is not absolutely necessary here, it will make your life a lot easier, and your fingers a lot less red. I’ll leave that up to you.
makes 20 crostini
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, honey, vinegar, 2 tbs basil and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are just starting to release their juice. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, arrange bread slices on a sheet pan. Brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
To assemble the crostini, spread a layer of goat cheese onto each slice, then top with a spoonful of cherries. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbs of basil over the crostini and serve immediately.
Note: While you can make the cherry mixture in advance, the longer it sits, the more the cherries lose their bright red color. I would recommend making them right before serving.
I do recipe testing and social media for Ina and love to cook for my friends on the weekend. Ina has given me lots of tips for easy cooking and entertaining, and I'm excited to share them with you here!