Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Goat Cheese with Pistachios & Cranberries

Ready for a delicious and easy appetizer? I'm always on the lookout for good appetizers that are easy to prepare (and don't have you frantically trying to get them ready while guests are arriving). We got together with some friends from church to celebrate Easter this past Sunday and I wanted to have a few appetizers out before dinner.  I really liked the simple appetizers we had -- cucumber cups (recipe coming soon!), cantaloupe and blackberry skewers, mixed nuts, and my friend brought deviled eggs.  To me, it was the ideal spread to hold you over to dinner without being too heavy or too much right before a meal.

This is probably my new favorite appetizer.  It only takes a few ingredients, can be prepped before hand and is delicious. And it involves goat cheese.  Seriously ideal.  The main reason it's baked in the oven is to soften the goat cheese so it's easy to spread on crackers or bread.  Even if it's partially baked, I like the fact that it didn't have to be served immediately -- by the time we started eating the appetizers, the goat cheese had been out of the oven for at least 20 minutes and was still soft enough to spread.

Finally, I can attest to the fact that it was just as tasty the next day - my husband and I just finished off the leftovers by quickly reheating it in the microwave!

Goat Cheese with Pistachios & Cranberries
Taken from: Cookie Monster Cooking
To serve a larger crowd, you could double this and use an 8 or 10 ounce log of goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, chopped (I used raw and unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese 
  • honey, for drizzling (optional)
  • crackers or bread slices, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 (I used 375 which worked well).
  2. On a large plate, combine the pistachios and cranberries. Roll the goat cheese in the fruit-and-nut mixture to coat (roll forcefully to get it all to stick). 
  3. Transfer the log to a oven-safe baking dish (I used a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper). 
  4. Bake for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is soft but still holds its shape (you don't want to bake it for too long it will be a melted, delicious mess).
  5. Transfer the baked log to a serving dish. Drizzle with honey, if using.  Serve with the crackers or bread.


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