Herbed Goat Cheese and Roasted Pepper Toasts
A more-than-one-bite hors d’oeuvre, these savory toasts make a satisfying snack to serve with drinks or to take on a picnic. They taste best at room temperature or just barely warm. Roasting the peppers can done a day ahead, as can marinating the goat cheese, making this treat very easy to put together.
- Serves: 10 persons
- 1large red or yellow bell pepper
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1(8-ounce) log or 2 (4-ounce) logs soft goat cheese
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Red-pepper flakes
- 1day-old baguette or ciabatta loaf
- 1garlic clove, peeled
Step 1Roast the pepper: Place the bell pepper directly over the open flame of a gas burner, under the broiler or on a hot, glowing charcoal grill. Let the skin of the pepper blacken and blister, using tongs to turn the pepper frequently. When completely blackened, after 5 to 8 minutes, transfer to a plate to cool.
Step 2Using a paring knife, cut pepper in half lengthwise. Cut away seeds and stem and discard. Scrape away the skin and discard. Do not rinse. It’s OK if a few bits of charred skin remain.
Step 3Cut pepper halves into long strips about 1-inch wide. Season lightly with salt. (The pepper can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of serving.)
Step 4Marinate the goat cheese: Slice the goat cheese log into 10 pieces (each about 3/4-inch thick). Place pieces in a single layer on a plate and pour 1/4 cup oil over.
Step 5Strip leaves from a few thyme sprigs and a rosemary sprig, roughly chop and sprinkle over the cheese. Finish with a bit of freshly ground black pepper, and a small pinch of red-pepper flakes. Cover and set aside. (This can also be done up to 24 hours ahead.)
Step 6Set oven to 350 degrees. Cut the baguette on a diagonal into 10 slices, each about 1/4-inch thick. (If using ciabatta, cut into similar-size pieces.) Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer, then place in oven for about 5 minutes, until bread is barely toasted.
Step 7Remove from oven and carefully give each toast a light swipe with the garlic clove. Lay a strip of roasted pepper across each toast to cover. Place a goat cheese round in the center of each toast. Spoon the remaining olive oil from the plate generously over each piece of cheese and any exposed toast.
Step 8To finish, return to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the bread is nicely browned and the cheese has gotten a bit of color, 8 to 10 minutes. Let toasts cool a bit, then arrange on a platter and serve. (They taste best at room temperature or just barely warm.) Toasts can be baked up to 1 hour ahead and popped in the oven to reheat slightly.