These are pretty little appetizers that you can prepare almost entirely in advance. The roasted bell pepper and herb salad actually tastes great alone with the crostini. But I think the goat cheese makes these appetizers more exciting. I would recommend using a smaller amount of goat cheese for each patty then you would think necessary because the flavor is quite strong and you want the roasted bell peppers to stand up to the cheese.
- French or Italian baguette (olive oil for brushing)
- 2 bell peppers
- small garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp chopped fresh marjoram
- 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 5oz log goat cheese
- 1/4 cup roasted pepitas (or toast raw pepitas in a hot, dry skillet for about 3 min)
- 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds (or toast raw sunflower seeds)
For the bell peppers: Roast peppers in a roasting pan for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees, turning occasionally. Cook until skins blister and pull loose from flesh. Place hot peppers into a paper bag and roll down to seal in steam. While they sit, combine the garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and herbs. Slide off all the skin from the peppers and remove the stem an seeds. Slice them into thin strips and add to the dressing along with salt and pepper. Stir and let marinate.
—method for Roasted Pepper Salad from Alice Waters’ book, In The Green Kitchen
For the goat cheese patties: Divide goat cheese into 16 even sized balls. Combine the pepitas and sunflower seeds and pour them onto a flat plate. Press the goat cheese balls into the seed mixture flattening them into thin patties, and thoroughly coating them with the seeds. Refrigerate.
For the crostinis: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice baguette into 16 quarter-inch slices. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Toast in oven for 10 minutes or until just golden brown on the edges.
To put it all together, toast the crostinis, and while they are toasting heat the bell peppers in a sauté pan over low heat until hot. Remove the crostinis and transfer the goat cheese patties to the oven for 5 minutes or so, until they are warmed throughout but not melty. Place a spoonful of the bell pepper medley onto each crostini and then top with a goat cheese patty.
Makes 16 crostinis