Crostini with Herbed Chèvre and Kumquats

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This unusual combination of soft goat cheese, called chèvre, and kumquats is surprisingly pleasing. The slightly tangy goat cheese pairs wonderfully with the bright, juicy citrus fruit. Rubbing the crostini with garlic adds extra flavor, but you can omit it if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, cut on the diagonal into slices ¼ inch (6 mm)thick
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
  • 4–5 oz (125–155 g) chèvre (soft goat cheese), at room temperature
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme, plus leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 20–25 kumquats, about 1 lb (500 g) total weight, halved, seeded, and chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Lay the baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with the olive oil. Bake until the undersides are lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Turn the slices and bake until lightly golden on the second side, about 5 minutes longer. Let cool, then rub the oiled side of the toasts with the cut sides of the garlic cloves.

In a bowl, using a fork, mash together the cheese and thyme.

Spread each toast with about 2 teaspoons of the herbed goat cheese and top with some of the chopped kumquats. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired. Serve at once.

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