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Balsamic Cherry and Goat Cheese Crostini

makes 20 crostini
• 1 lb fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
• one French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices
• 1 tbs honey
• 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 4 tbs fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons, divided
• 8 oz plain, creamy goat cheese
• kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, honey, vinegar, 2 tbs basil and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are just starting to release their juice. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, arrange bread slices on a sheet pan. Brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

To assemble the crostini, spread a layer of goat cheese onto each slice, then top with a spoonful of cherries. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbs of basil over the crostini and serve immediately.

Note: While you can make the cherry mixture in advance, the longer it sits, the more the cherries lose their bright red color. I would recommend making them right before serving.

This recipe courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa

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