My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.

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Beet, Fennel & Goat Cheese Crostini 2

Posted on June 25, 2010 by crankycheryl

Well, not crostini exactly since the bread isn’t crisp.  Maybe canape, but they anyway were what I brought to a veggie potluck this week.  I skipped the crisping because I always kind of hate the inevitable crumble and collapse of bruschetta and crostini after you take one bite and before you know it you’re dripping tomato cubes and apologizing to the hostess about the carpet.

Not only was I taking such care of my future co-eaters, but then I felt myself simpering with smugness about being able to combine thawed roasted beets from the freezer, fresh snipped fennel fronds from the garden, a Brie-like goat cheese from our CSA share, and apricot preserves from last year.

Character flaws aside, what’s really nice about these is that they can be an inspiration for all sorts of summer eating.  A piece of good bread, crisped or not, a slice or schmear of cheese, a tart and fruity something on top, and a sprig of some fresh herb or other – lots of possibilities.   I made this version thinking about how the different kinds of sweetness of beets, apricots, and fennel would play with the creamy cheese on baguette.  But you of course will adapt it to use what you’ve got around.

Beet, Fennel & Goat Cheese Canapes
About 25 pieces

Arrange on a platter:

  • 25 (or whatever) thin slices of baguette, lightly brushed with
  • extra virgin olive oil (you’ll need about 2 T.)

Place on bread:

  • 1 slice Caprella, Camembert, Brie, or any soft cheese you like

Set bread aside.

Combine and puree in a blender, or a bowl that will accommodate an immersion blender:

  • 1/4 c. apricot (or other fruit) preserves
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. sherry (or other mild) vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch sugar

Pour dressing into a medium bowl.

Cut into small dice:

  • 2 c. worth roasted beets (or plum, peach, apricot, melon, tomato, etc.)

Combine dressing and beets or fruit with:

  • 2 T. finely chopped fennel fronds (or basil, lemon balm, nasturtium leaves)

Place a heaping teaspoon of the beet mixture on top of the bread and cheese and top with:

  • 1 small sprig of your chosen herb.

Fennel Saves the Day 0

Posted on February 03, 2009 by crankycheryl

I was in a hurry and needed a quick side dish vegetable that my father could eat in spite of being on blood thinners for his heart condition, and the boys were whirling around and the television was too loud when, suddenly, the Penzey’s jar of fennel seed caught my eye.

It was  a moment of clarity in the maelstrom, and because I had leftover green beans from the night before this came together quickly:

Green Bean & Tomato Salad with Fennel & Lemon

3 cups green beans, trimmed and cut to 2-3″ length (Mine were leftover, if you weren’t so lucky you could trim and steam until crisp-tender, or else microwave and cool some frozen ones.)
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
1 t. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/4 t. dried lemon peel
1/4 t. fennel seeds (if I were a real chef, I’d have lightly crushed them with a mortar & pestle or rolling pin, but, well, you know)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
salt & pepper, to taste

Mix all together, and let sit at room temperature for at least half an hour, then serve.

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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