Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Goat Cheese, Walnut and Cranberry Canapes

 Last week, Danielle garnered praise for her delicious Brie En Croute. This week, something just as delectable.


This recipe is great because it's easily split in half or even doubled in order to accommodate the number of people it needs to serve. It's nice and light, which makes it perfect for a summer appetizer. The tartness of the cranberries and the lemony taste of the thyme go perfectly with the creamy goat cheese, and the walnuts add a perfect crunch.

Serves 8 (makes 24 pieces)

* 3/4 cup walnuts
* 4 tsp of olive oil (divided)
* 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
* salt & pepper for seasoning
* 1 french baguette
* 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
* 2 tbsp water
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 ˚ F.

Toss the walnuts with 1 teaspoon olive oil and the cinnamon, season with salt and pepper. Scatter onto rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cut the baguette into 24 thin slices. The easiest way I've come up with to do this is to cut the entire baguette in half, then cut each half in half again... making 4 even quarters. Since you need 24 slices total, you know you need 6 slices from each quarter. This way you know you're going to get the right number of slices and that they'll all be relatively the same size. Spread the baguettes onto your baking sheet and brush with the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, stir together the goat cheese and water until smooth. Stir in the dried cranberries and chopped thyme. Spread the goat cheese topping evenly on the toasted baguette slices and top each with the toasted walnuts and a sprinkle of thyme leaves.