Vegan Life | Recipes

Cranberry and Cashew Goat Cheese Crostini A Vegan Holiday Appetizer

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You've planned your entire Thanksgiving feast. But did you plan on what you and your family are going to snack on while Thanksgiving dinner's being prepared? In years past, we've snacked on my delicious spinach & artichoke dip. This year, I'm adding vegan cranberry and cashew goat cheese crostini! (This recipe is also a great option for holiday parties.)

The most time-consuming portion of these crostini is the cranberry sauce, but that can be made ahead. (You could also double or triple up the cranberry recipe and serve the rest of the cranberry sauce along with Thanksgiving dinner). Then, when you're ready to eat, you can just toast the baguette slices for a couple of minutes under the broiler, and assemble the crostini! The cranberry sauce recipe should make more than enough for 15-18 slices, which is about what you'll get out of a full-size baguette.

You should be able to make 15-18 crostini with this recipe.

For the cashew goat cheese, I like Treeline French Style Soft Nut Cheese or Miyoko's plain vegan cream cheese (it tastes more like goat cheese than cream cheese). If you want to make your own, try this recipe.

Toppings and garnish are up to you, but walnuts work well with these flavors. You can also add some fresh thyme or parsley.

I would only toast and assemble as much crostini as I expect to be eaten right away. It's so quick to assemble and toast the crostini, that I think it's better to store the components separately, then assemble it each time. However, the crostini won't get soggy if you decide to refrigerate them fully-assembled for a day or two.

Walnuts make a good choice of topping for these cranberry and cashew cheese crostini.

Cranberry and Cashew Goat Cheese Crostini

Yield15 crostini

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time40 minutes

Total Time60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally in 1/2" to 3/4" slices

  • olive oil or olive oil spray

  • vegan goat cheese, such as Treeline or Miyoko's (see above for details)

  • chopped walnuts, parsley, or thyme for topping

Cranberry Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. vegan butter

  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 6 tbsp. brown sugar

  • 3/8 cup cranberry juice

  • 3/4 tsp. red wine vinegar

  • 1 1/4 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter. Add the diced onion and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Your onion should be just turning brown when you move on to the next step.
  2. Add minced garlic to the pan and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. If the ingredients in the pan start to dry out at any point during cooking, add some water.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the pan to cool off a bit. Then add cranberry juice and brown sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves.

    Let the pan cool a little before adding the cranberry juice; if the pan's too hot, the cranberry juice may splash out of the pan and reduce too quickly.
  4. Add red wine vinegar and cranberries to the pan. Turn up the heat again until the juices begin to boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. As the cranberries soften, use a fork or potato masher to mash them. The mixture should be a jelly-like consistency by the end of this step. If it dries out too much, add water, and if it's too runny, allow it to simmer a little longer. (Keep in mind it will thicken more as it cools).

    Your cranberry sauce shouldn't be too watery or too dry.
  5. Add cinnamon and salt to the cranberry mixture and stir. Remove from heat.

  6. Slice the baguette diagonally to make 1/2" to 3/4" thick slices. Spray or brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and place on a baking tray.

    Cut the baguette along the diagonal
  7. Broil on low for 2 minutes, then turn the bread and broil the other side for 2 minutes.

    Toast your bread until it has a slight golden color.
  8. Spread a generous portion of nut cheese on top of each slice of bread. Then add a spoonful of cranberry sauce. Top with your choice of chopped walnuts, parsley, or thyme.

Notes & Hints

Broiling the bread for 2 minutes on each side produces a crunchy crust with soft bread in the middle; for bread that's crunchier in the middle bake at a lower temperature for a few minutes longer.

Make ahead: Prepare the cranberry sauce ahead of time, and refrigerate it in an air-tight container. Then, when ready to serve, toast the baguettes and assemble!

Leftovers: Store unassembled crostini components in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Toast baguette slices and assemble according to recipe.

StephSunshine

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Steph Sunshine

Hi! I'm Steph, and I love to explore vegan food, health, and of course, the world. I'm sharing my best vegan recipes, and things I've learned and loved from my travels and health journeys.