Warm Pumpkin, Polenta and Goat Cheese Crostini

Warm Pumpkin, Polenta and Goat Cheese Crostini

Makes 16 Crostini
Level of Difficulty: Medium


16, 1/2 inch slices of ready made polenta
16 thin slices of pumpkin (about same width as polenta)
8 oz of goat cheese sliced into 16 pieces
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
Maple syrup vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Olive oil for frying
Salt to taste

Ingredients for Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¾ cup maple syrup
¾ cup good quality olive oil

Directions for Vinaigrette

1. In a pestle and mortar, pound together the mustard and garlic to form a paste.

2. Add all other ingredients and mix till smooth. Set aside.

Directions for the Cranberry and Walnut Tapanade

1. In a food processor, mix together the dried cranberries, walnuts and 2 tbsp of olive oil until blended to a rough texture. Set aside.

Directions for the Crostini

1. Lightly coat the pumpkin in about 1/3 of the vinaigrette.

2. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20 - 30 minutes until cooked and slightly caramelised.

3. Meanwhile, coat the goat cheese in another
1/3 of the vinaigrette. Then coat with the panko breadcrumbs.

4. Heat enough olive oil in a deep pan to fully cover the polenta and deep fry the polenta in batches, until golden brown. About 5 minutes.

5. Sprinkle a little salt to taste over the fried pieces of polenta.

Assembling the Crostini

Right before serving, spread about 1 tsp of the cranberry and walnut tapanade on each piece of polenta. Then place a pumpkin slice on top of that. Then a piece of the goat cheese. Place the crostini on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 5 minutes - until warm and the goat cheese is slightly browned.

Garnish with walnuts and cranberries.

This recipe was created by Melanie Secciani, chef and owner of The Spice Lab, offering cooking classes in the heart of Florence Italy.

Complementary Wines: Dolcetto, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Rosé, Trebbiano

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