Raise Your Appetizer Game with Goat Cheese Crostini and Crudités

Be it a romantic dinner for two or a party with a guest-list in the double digits, having a go-to appetizer is every cook’s best weapon.

Goat cheese can sometimes go forgotten in the kitchen, so to celebrate this tangy treasure, we’re partnering with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and recipes featuring goat cheese.

When it comes to snacks and appetizers, pre-assembly and preparation is the name of the game, so that you can actually spend time with your guests early on. Cheeses are always a solid option, but how about going one better by creating your own cheese dip that has multiple uses?

Goat cheese has such a wonderfully tangy flavor, but because it is fairly low in fat, it is crumbly on its own. By mixing it with something like crème fraiche, sour cream, whipping cream or whole milk yogurt, you’ll find yourself with a soft goat cheese more spreadable. If you are not a fan of the goat flavor, the same can be done with cream cheese or even a full-fat cottage or farmers cheese.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Keep your goat cheese spread fresh in your Electrolux refrigerator with Luxury-Close Humidity-Controlled Crisper Drawers.

Crostini and Crudités with Goat Cheese Spread of Golden Raisins, Toasted Walnuts, and Herbs

"When it comes to crudité on a nice appetizer platter, I try to choose vegetables that go well with a spread or are good for dipping. Endive leaves are always easy, as well as carrots and snap peas. I don’t generally like broccoli or cauliflower here; they’re tough to eat raw." -Sara

Servings: 6

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Ingredients

For Goat Cheese Dip:

1/3 cup golden raisins, roughly chopped

5 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature

3-4 tablespoon whipping cream, as needed

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of fresh ground pepper

Zest of one small lemon

1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

For Crostini and Crudité:

1 small French baguette

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

Crudité of carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, blanched haricot vert, celery (as seasonally appropriate)

Instructions

Put the raisins in a small dish and cover them with hot water to soften.

In a mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese, whipping cream, olive oil and pepper and beat until well blended and fluffy. This can also be done in a stand mixer. Drain the raisins of the water and add them, the lemon zest, walnuts, parsley and thyme to the cheese mixture and stir to mix.

Transfer the mix to a small bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to marry the flavors. The dip can be made up to three days in advance. Leave it out for 15 minutes before serving to reach a more spreadable consistency.

Slice the baguette into 1” slices on the diagonal. Rub the tops with olive oil and toast gently for 3 minutes. Serve the dip with crostini and assorted crudité.

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