This is my version of a spread I first savored in Provence one fall, at a party to celebrate the grape harvest. The man who introduced me to it had made the fromage blanc from his own goat’s milk, and it tasted divine. The harissa gives the creamy spread just a hint of fire.
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, mix together the fromage blanc and cream, adding a little more cream if needed to make a spreadable paste. Stir in the shallots, minced chives, salt, and harissa. Taste and adjust with more harissa if you want a spicier spread.
Spread the garlic toasts with the fromage blanc mixture. Arrange on a platter, garnish the platter with the chive blades, and serve at once.
© 2013 All rights reserved. Published by Weldon Owen.