You know how oftentimes at a party, the first appetizer to disappear is the simplest one? People will always love complicated dips, and food wrapped in other foods of course, but sometimes they just want something safe and delicious. Well, these toasted baguettes are easy to make and as non-threatening as you can get with an appetizer, and each bite packs a big punch of fresh flavor.
I don't need to write paragraphs about how delicious these are, because I'm pretty sure that by reading "toasted baguettes with goat cheese, basil, and shallots," you acquired a general idea of what they taste like. So lets skip right to the chase!
You will need:
- 1 fresh* French baguette, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
- 6 oz goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons shallot, minced
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- optional: a dash of whole milk or heavy cream, to soften the goat cheese mixture
*Years ago while watching Ratatoille, I picked up a little fact that has stuck with me: to test the freshness of bread you listen to the sound of the crust! That crunchy, crispy noise it makes indicates it is fresh. I always do this at Wegmans, and if it doesn't make that noise, I don't buy it! And when it does make that "symphony of crackle," as described in the movie, I get a little shiver up my spine. I love bread...
Preheat oven to 350°, and place baguette slices in a single layer on a cooking sheet. Brush tops with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If slices will not fit on one sheet, divide between two, and rotate positions in oven halfway through cooking. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crispy but not hard.
Melt goat cheese in microwave for 5 seconds to soften it, then add the chopped basil, minced shallots, and salt and pepper. You want a consistency that is easy to spread, which is why you might want to add the milk (it also cuts back on the tang of the goat cheese). If you choose to add it, beat it with a whisk and fold into the goat cheese. Spread over the baguettes and serve.
It's as simple as that. So yummy, and perfect for almost every occasion. These little toasts will disappear in the blink of an eye, so you might want to consider making a double batch! The goat cheese works as the perfect base for fresh herbs, so feel free to experiment and add in whatever herbs you have lying around.
Recipe adapted slightly from epicurious