Strawberry-Basil Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese
Makes about 24 two-inch crostini bites.
4 ounces goat cheese
1 ounce cream cheese
1-2 Tablespoons milk or cream
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
2-3 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3-4 fresh basil leaves cleaned and chopped
1 baguette sliced thinly
2-3 Tablespoons softened butter
Toast pine nuts in a small nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Using a wooden spoon carefully move the pine nuts around until they begin to lightly brown. (Do not add any butter or oil-the heat of the skillet will toast the nuts) Be sure to quickly pour the toasted pine nuts into a bowl to cool.—leaving the pine nuts in a very warm pan can over-toast them making them bitter.
Thinly slice the baguette, or purchase pre-sliced baguette bites (found in bakery section of some grocery stores)
Spread a small amount of softened butter onto each bread slice. Place the bread slices onto a baking sheet, butter side up. Bake in a 350 oven on the middle rack until the butter is melted and the crostini are lightly toasted. (About 5 minutes)
In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer or whisk, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Mix until light and fluffy. Add milk or cream to thin if the cheese mixture is to thick. Refrigerate until ready to assemble crostini.
Finely chop the fresh strawberries. Add honey, zest and lime juice and gently stir to coat the berries. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the fresh basil.
To assemble: Spread 1-2 teaspoons of the whipped goat cheese onto the crostini. Top with the strawberry mixture. Garnish with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.
(Optional: drizzle with honey or add tiny drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze)