Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini with Prosciutto and Arugula

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to happy hour at Mattie’s, a new restaurant in my neighborhood.  One of the appetizers we tried was toasted bread, with creamy goat cheese and figs, topped with prosciutto, honey and arugula with a sprinkle of sea salt.  It was delicious, and certainly something that would be easy to make at home.  So here it is, my recipe for Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini with Prosciutto and Arugula, a sweet and savory appetizer to enjoy with a glass of wine.

 

Ingredients:
4 slices Ciabatta bread
2 oz. goat cheese
1 tbsp. fig preserves
4 slices prosciutto
1 cup baby arugula
1 tsp. honey simple syrup
2 tsp. olive oil
Coarse sea salt

In a small bowl, mix together goat cheese and fig preserves.  Put broiler on LOW and spread an equal amount of the goat cheese mixture on each slice of bread.  Place bread on a cookie sheet and broil until just starting to turn brown, 2-3 minutes.

Toss arugula with honey simple syrup and olive oil.  Top each slice of bread with arugula, prosciutto and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Enjoy!

Honey Balsamic Jalapeno Poppers

Honey Balsamic Jalapeno PoppersThis take on a classic jalapeno popper gets a twist from using tangy goat cheese and a sweet honey balsamic drizzle. This recipe makes 30 delectable poppers, so perfect for a holiday get together or game day appetizer. Who doesn’t love the combination of bacon with something sweet?  WARNING, these are addictive!

 

 

Ingredients:
10.5 oz. package goat cheese (I used Costco’s Kirkland brand)
15 jalapenos, sliced in half the long way, ribs and seeds removed
1 lb. package of bacon (15 slices), cut in half
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Honey Balsamic Jalapeno Poppers 2Take goat cheese out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before preparing so that it’s soft enough to spread into jalapenos. While preheating oven to 425 degrees, cut stems from jalapenos and slice in half lengthwise, removing ribs and seeds. This will cut down spice considerably from the peppers once they are cooked! Spread an equal amount of goat cheese in each halved pepper and wrap with a half slice of bacon. If the slices aren’t big enough to wrap around completely, they can be secured with a toothpick, but I usually do without. Place jalapenos in roasting pan or cookie sheet in 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bacon is cooked. Make sure the pan has a raised lip so the oils from the bacon do not spill while cooking! Once bacon is beautifully browned, remove from oven and let drain on a paper towel. Wisk together honey and balsamic vinegar. Transfer peppers to a serving platter and drizzle with honey mixture before serving.

Enjoy!

Goat Cheese, Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Flatbread

Goat Cheese Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Flatbread

This is one of my favorite appetizers. Inspired by the flavors of the “Roasted Garlic Bulbs” starter at Moonshine, one of my favorite restaurants in Austin, this version is made a little heartier, prepared on a flatbread (instead of a crostini) and with the addition of Italian sausage. The cool, tangy goat cheese is perfect with the rich roasted garlic. Easy and delicious!

 

 

For a substantial appetizer for 4 people, use:
2 flatbreads
2 oz. goat cheese
Head of garlic, roasted
4 oz. crumbled Italian sausage, browned
6 peppadew peppers, sliced
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 basil leaves, chopped into ribbons (optional garnish)

If you haven’t used roasted garlic before, you must try it. The normally strong, sharp flavor of garlic becomes softer and nutty from roasting. I love roasted garlic in pasta dishes or just slathered onto a slice of bread. It’s easy to make, see how to make Roasted Garlic here.

Goat Cheese Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Flatbread 2

Put pizza stone in over and preheat to 425 degrees. Toast flatbreads on hot pizza stone for 2-3 minutes per side to give them a good crunch. Remove from oven and let rest on the hot stone for 2 minutes. Meanwhile combine sliced peppers in a small bowl with balsamic vinegar to coat. Spread goat cheese on flatbreads, and top with roasted garlic, Italian sausage, and marinated red peppers. Garnish with chopped basil, slice and serve.

Enjoy!