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Cucina! Cucina! Baked Goat Cheese

Source: Cucina! Cucina! Italian Cafe in Phoenix, Arizona

3 ounces goat cheese (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
2 teaspoons pine nuts, chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 baguette

Form goat cheese into a 3-inch disc. Combine bread crumbs and chopped pine nuts in a small dish. Pat bread crumb mixture evenly onto goat cheese disc and set aside.

To caramelize garlic, heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small saut? pan over medium-low heat. Add peeled garlic cloves and cook slowly until garlic changes color to a light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove garlic from oil and set aside. Reserve olive oil.

To make crostinis, preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Slice baguette in 1/4-inch thick pieces at an angle, about 4 inches long. Take the reserved garlic olive oil and brush both sides of each bread slice with it. Place the crostinis on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

Increase oven heat to 450 degrees F and place goat cheese on a cookie sheet. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bread crumbs turn a light golden color and cheese begins to puff. Sprinkle caramelized garlic over baked goat cheese and drizzle remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on top. Serve on a large plate surrounded by crostinis.

Makes 6 appetizer servings.



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