This is an extremely easy starter to make and yet it has a wide range of incredible textures and flavors. You don’t even need a recipe. Just spread your favorite chèvre or goat’s cheese on a cracker or crostini, add fresh fruit and drizzle some honey or a good aged balsamic vinegar. Saba also works well with the tart taste of the goat’s cheese.
Aged balsamic vinegar can be rather expensive, but you can achieve a similar result by purchasing a balsamic glaze or very slowly reducing 2 cups of a less expensive balsamic vinegar.
The goat’s cheese should be a young fresh artisanal chèvre. If it is not available locally you can find a good selection online at igourmet. You can purchase the goat’s cheese plain or with fruit such as figs, cranberries, blueberries, honey or herbs. You can also add your own fruit and honey or herbs to the goat’s cheese as well.
Strawberries and blackberries looked great at our local farmer’s market this week, but any fruit will work equally well. When the fruit is not at it’s best it can be macerated in balsamic vinegar, grilled or roasted in the oven. You can make a compote out of dry fruit or purchase a fig jam such as L’Epicurien, Provence Black Fig Jam.
For crackers I prefer to use a mixture of flavors and textures, including paper thin wafers like Fine Wafer Crackers from Water Wheel and for something with more flavor and texture, Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisp .
You can also use crostini or toast as well.
Serve with a glass of prosecco and perhaps some kale chips. Enjoy.
Blackberries, chèvre & a drizzle of tupelo honey
Fine Wafer Crackers, Provencale from Water Wheel
Strawberries, chèvre & a drizzle of aged balsamic
Purple Haze Chèvre (a blend of goat’s cheese, lavender and wild fennel pollen) from Cypress Grove Chèvre
Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps, Fig and Olive
Simply spread the goat’s cheese on the crackers, (8 oz should be enough for 20 or more crackers). Top with some fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey or aged balsamic vinegar and serve immediately. If your guests are not quite ready, it is a good idea to serve the goat’s cheese and fruit in separate bowls and let them make their own when they are ready. The crackers, especially the thin wafers, will become soggy rather quickly.