Cranberry Pesto Goat Cheese Crostini is perfect for any type of party. Invite your friends over and dive in!
International Food Bloggers Conference
When in Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference, I attended a marvelous seminar on olive oil presented by the lovely folks from California Olive Ranch. When they offered to sponsor a DIY Virtual Tasting Party at my home, I jumped at the chance.
I have an enthusiastic group of foodie friends who show up whenever I let them know I’m doing a cooking demo. We’ve taste tested a variety of butters and semi-sweet chocolates and they’ve also attended my laid back workshops on how to prepare an array of goodies. They were all in favor of an olive oil party.
Cranberry Pesto Goat Cheese Crostini
And, of course, I had to offer some nibbles to munch on while we were gabbing and rating the oils…these Cranberry Pesto Goat Cheese Crostini were perfect.
We started with the Jelly Bean test. With noses pinched, my volunteers tried to identify their jelly bean flavor to no avail. We were reminded how much the sense of smell is tied to taste.
Next, we discussed the enemies of olive oil: time, light, temperature and oxygen and tips such as checking the harvest date and best by date on olive oil bottles before purchasing.
After that, we started on the olive oil flight tasting in order from mild to robust. Swirling to warm the oil, sniffing, slurping and swallowing…then analyzing. Here are the varieties we tasted and a few comments from my testers:
Everyday Fresh (suggested uses: baking, sauteing, every day): buttery, peppery finish, neutral, what you’d expect an olive oil to taste like
Arbequina (suggested uses: salad greens, garden pestos): stronger aroma, bitter, more pepper, special purpose, not my favorite straight up
Miller’s Blend (suggested uses: spicy dishes, curry, roasted meats, winter stews, pasta, roasted garlic fondue): super buttery, not as robust, heavier, fruitier
After the tasting, we dove into these Cranberry Pesto Goat Cheese Crostini featured on the California Olive Ranch website. I had to print off 6 copies of the recipe…this was a bonefide winner. Even my one friend who is not a fan of goat cheese sang their praises. And it is a simple recipe mostly made in in the food procesor…easy peasy! Perfect for one of your upcoming holiday gatherings (note that they are RED and GREEN!). And make sure to buy some California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the best results. Please check their website for more recipes and information on olive oil.
Things you may need for this recipe:
Recipe adapted from US Cranberry Marketing via California Olive Ranch
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup Craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)
- 1 cup fresh Basil, packed
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup California Olive Ranch Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 baguette, cut into 24 slices
- Goat cheese
- Pulse garlic in food processor until finely diced. Add cranberries, basil, walnuts and red pepper flakes. Pulse until blended but chunky.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl. Stir in Parmesan cheese, parsley and oil until blended.
- Spread a thin layer of goat cheese over each baguette slice and top with 1 tablespoon of the cranberry pesto mixture.
Serving Size:2 toasts
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 293mg Carbohydrates: 26g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g