Roasted Cherry and Goat Cheese Crostini – sweet, juicy cherries roasted to perfection with a subtle hint of thyme, atop creamy goat cheese and crisp crostini, garnished with fresh basil. It’s the perfect summer appetizer!
I’m so excited to be sharing this tasty appetizer with you today! As I mentioned in June, many nights were filled with friends and sunsets. Of course we had to have a few snacks here and there, and some way to use up the bowl overflowing cherries.
Insert: roasted cherries.
Cherries are all around us right now, and there’s absolutely nothing like a fresh, juicy cherry, made even more intense and flavorful through roasting. Commence happy dance.
Honestly, I didn’t grow up eating cherries, not real cherries anyway. In the last few years they’ve completely grown on me (although strawberries still take the cake for my favorite summer fruit). I’ve had so much fun incorporating them into meals in the summertime – what are some of your favorite ways to enjoy cherries?
I was inspired to try roasting cherries in a few places around the web – if only I could remember now – and I knew I had to try it. My favorite way to enjoy jam-like, compote-like fresh fruit is, yep, you guessed it, on top of cheese and crostini with fresh herbs.
Life cannot get any better than that, can it?
As they roast, the cherries reduce, their juices spilling out and thickening, making compote-like perfection with chunks of fresh cherries in their thick, syrupy juices. In this recipe I like to roast them with a bit of dried thyme, which adds a deep, warm flavor – it may seem a little counter-intuitive for a summer appetizer, but sometimes ya just gotta live life on the wild side.
The sweetness of the cherries is balanced out with the slightly tangy, creamy goat cheese spread over the crisp, salty crostini. The only thing to make it better? Fresh basil! It lightens it up, adds a beautiful green color, and is just straight up amazing (it is basil, after all). The fresh basil garnish also balances out the warm thyme flavors, keeping the summer feeling alive!
Before I go – I must mention that I know I’ve kind of gone MIA on y’all. If you’ve followed along on Snapchat (@forkinkitchen), I had a pretty epic road trip with my mom. Stay tuned for the travel/everyday life post coming up to see where I’ve been the past few weeks!
- 3 cups cherries, halved and pitted (approximately 1.5 lbs)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Sprinkle salt and pepper
- 1 baguette, sliced on the diagonal (approximately 20 slices)
- 4 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
- Optional: 2 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a large baking sheet with edges, coat cherries with vegetable oil, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, stirring half way through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, make the crostini by drizzling each baguette slice with the olive oil and salt and pepper. I like to spread the slices among a large baking sheet, drizzle, flip, and move around on the pan to continue soaking up the oil. During the last 5 minutes of the cherries roasting time, add the baguette slices to taste. Reduce heat to 375°F when cherries are done, and flip crostini. Continue toasting for an additional 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
- Spread the goat cheese evenly among the crostini. Top with roasted cherries and garnish with fresh basil. Additionally, drizzle with an aged balsamic vinegar for another level of yum!